Ducey to lead Republican governors
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) will lead the Republican Governors Association (RGA) in 2021, giving a national forum to a state official said to be contemplating a run for president in 2024.
Ducey, serving his second term in Phoenix, will take over for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), who led the group during the 2020 elections. This year, Republicans gained one governorship when Rep. Greg Gianforte (R) won the right to succeed term-limited Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D).
Ducey will oversee fundraising efforts in a year when just two governorships are up for grabs. Virginia voters will choose a replacement for Gov. Ralph Northam (D), and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) will seek a second term.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) will serve as the RGA’s vice chair, putting her in line to lead the group in 2022, when she would be up for reelection.
Ducey is among a large field of potential aspirants who may consider a presidential campaign in 2024. He made a point to build ties to President Trump, though those relations have been strained as Ducey defended the integrity of Arizona’s election, which Trump lost in November.
He has faced increasingly strident criticism even within his own back yard, feuding with Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) and Kelli Ward, the chair of the Arizona Republican Party.
The RGA’s incoming executive board is a mix of governors who have been among Trump’s closest allies, such as Ducey, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) and Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R), as well as those who are among his sharpest critics, like Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R).