Primary in Governor's race heating up with attack ads

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by Jayson Chesler

Video report by Dennis Welch

Posted on July 12, 2014 at 10:58 AM

Updated Saturday, Jul 12 at 10:58 AM

PHOENIX -- The start of early voting in the primary election for the Arizona Governor's office is under 3 weeks away and campaigning has gotten heated. An ad targeting candidate Doug Ducey is catching some major attention.

The ad states that Ducey has failed to pay taxes and traffic tickets in the past -- the latest political attacks made in a heated race. The commercial was paid for by a group called Better Leaders for Arizona. Virginia Simpson, the group's treasurer and a supporter of Christine Jones in the election, said that the ad was just getting information out to voters.

"I think there are things in his background that the general public needs to know," Simpson said. "I think those were some facts that I think are important to know, especially if they've been misrepresented to the public."

The spot is accurate in that Ducey did not pay his property taxes in 2008 and 2009, but political consultant Barry Dill said he does not think that it's a big problem for Ducey.

"I don't think there's a candidate running for office that hasn't been delinquent on their property taxes at some point in time," Dill said.

In a statement, Ducey fired back at the ad but did not comment on the validity of any of its claims.

"This ad is old news," Ducey's statement said. "Voters can see through these kinds of contrived attacks and judge them for what they are."

Dill said he would give the ad a "C," and that it would not have much of an impact on Ducey's credibility. Dill also said that the commercial could be a sign that other candidates are worried that Ducey might be pulling ahead.

Better Leaders for Arizona have spent approximately $80,000 on the ad so far. Simpson declined to comment on how much money the group could potentially spend in the future.

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