Life After Ducey: Here’s Who Is on the Ballot for Arizona Governor in 2022

By Robert Gundran

May 16, 2022

Arizona voters have less than three months before they’ll be asked to cast their ballot in the primary elections, and both Democrats and Republicans have a variety of candidates for voters to choose from to lead the state for the next four years.

Incumbent Republican Doug Ducey isn’t eligible to run for reelection due to Arizona’s term limits.

Here’s who will be on the ballot Aug. 2.


Primary polling is typically more sparse compared to general polling, but both Katie Hobbs and Kari Lake have earned their designation as front-runners in their respective field due to most polling showing them with significant leads.

OH Predictive Insights, a market research company in Arizona, has shown Lake and Hobbs in the lead for both primaries for roughly the last eight months.

Katie Hobbs

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs announced her intentions to run for governor in 2021.

The former social worker and Democrat has defended the 2020 election frequently, speaking to national news media about the integrity of the election and state-run audits.

She was also one of the most vocal critics of the Republican-led partisan review of the 2020 election.

Hobbs has been a proponent of voter rights, and has said she’ll veto any piece of legislation that aims to restrict voting.

She came under fire after firing a Black staffer when she was a state senator. Talonya Adams won a lawsuit against the state senate when a court found she was fired for bringing attention to the fact that she was paid less than white and male colleagues who held the same position.

Hobbs apologized for her role in the firing in December.

Kari Lake

The former Fox 10 news anchor and Republican has been in Arizona homes since the 90s.

Kari Lake rose to notoriety politically when she claimed without evidence in 2018 that the Arizona teachers strike was a ploy to get marijuana legalized in Arizona.

Lake has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump and is a supporter of the Big Lie, a conspiracy theory that the 2020 election was “stolen” by President Joe Biden.

She has demanded the 2020 election be decertified and claimed without evidence that Democrats use mail-in ballots to rig elections.

Arizona has allowed anyone to use mail-in ballots since 1991. Since then, Republicans carried Arizona in six of eight presidential elections. Bill Clinton was the last Democrat to carry Arizona until Biden’s victory in 2020.

Democrats: Former Mayor, Former Legislator

Marco López

Marco López is the former Mayor of Nogales and was a policy advisor to former Gov. Janet Napolitano for Mexico and Latin America.

He was born in Nogales, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States.

The Democrat was the first to announce his candidacy for governor. In his candidacy announcement video, López explained he chose to run for office because he the felt Arizona promise that “anything is possible, no matter who you are or where you come from” is no longer true.

López’s website said he will “stand up against extremists in our state who refuse to accept the reality of the last election and are trying to stop us from voting in the next election.”

Aaron Lieberman

Lieberman announced the suspension of his campaign on Friday, May 27.

Although he dropped out of the race, his name is still on the ballot. The race for governor on the Democrat side is effectively Hobbs and Lopez.

The former state representative resigned in 2021 to run for governor.

He is a native Arizonan and the founder of Jumpstart, a national nonprofit aimed at helping young children with pre-k education.

He has emphasized funding pre-k education and improving teacher pay.

Republicans: Former Legislator, Business Owners

Karrin Taylor Robson

Karrin Robson is a native Arizonan. In her candidacy announcement video she said she’ll “stop the federal government from taking over our Arizona elections and make sure the disaster of 2020 never happens again.”

She didn’t expand on what the disaster of 2020 was.

Robson also said she’ll ban critical race theory in Arizona, something that is not taught in public elementary, middle, or high schools.

The Republican also said she’ll complete former President Trump’s border wall.

Matt Salmon

Matt Salmon is a former state senator and member of the United States House of Representatives. He graduated from Arizona State University and is a native Utahn.

The Republican co-founded the Freedom Caucus with Rep. Jim Jordan, then-Rep. Ron DeSantis, then-Rep. Mark Meadows, and then-Rep. Mick Mulvaney.

Salmon is anti-choice and has said he’ll restart construction of a wall along Arizona’s southern border. He appeared on War Room, a show hosted by far-right political provocateur Steve Bannon.

Scott Neely

Scott Neely has signaled support of HB 2289, a bill that would disenfranchise many Arizona voters by only allowing in-person voting on Election Day.

The bill would eliminate mail-in and early voting, as well require all ballots to be hand counted the day of the election.

Multiple Republicans in the legislature have voiced opposition to the bill, claiming it solves a problem that doesn’t exist and that it would place an additional burden on election workers.

The Republican small business owner started Action Concrete Pumping in Phoenix in 2005.

Paola Tulliani-Zen

PaolaTulliani-Zen was border in Italy and moved to the United States at the age of seven.

On her website she’s advocated for “election integrity” by limiting mail-in ballots to the military, “shut-ins”, and special requests only.

The Republican also supports dividing Maricopa County into four smaller counties.

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  • Robert Gundran

    Robert Gundran grew up in the Southwest, spending equal time in the Valley and Southern California throughout his life. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism in 2018 and wrote for The Arizona Republic and The Orange County Register.

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