Blue wave? Red surge?
Arizona politicos are looking for any sign of momentum on the eve of 2020, when our state is expected to be among the nation’s top electoral battlegrounds. In that regard, the latest voter registration figures released by the Arizona Secretary of State are a mixed bag. The Arizona GOP maintains a healthy voter registration edge, with roughly 140,000 more Republicans than Democrats in the state. And while Democrats reduced the Republican registration advantage by about 4,000 voters during the 3rd quarter, the state GOP has actually registered more voters overall since the November 2018 election.
Pull back further, though, and the numbers show an unmistakable trend to the left. At the 2016 general election, the state had about 148,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats. Two years earlier, during the 2014 general election, Arizona had experienced a high water mark of sorts in terms of registration advantage when there were approximately 178,000 more Republicans in the state.
In other words, Arizona Democrats have netted nearly 40,000 more registered voters than the GOP in the last five years.During that time, Democrats have increased their share of the state electorate from less than 29% (2014) to more than 31% today. The GOP slice of the electoral pie has been steady at 34%.
A note of caution: Voter registration is just one of many factors to gauge. Just as important is voter engagement and intensity. Consider 2010, a mid-term election and the height of the Tea Party movement. That year, the shooting death of border rancher Robert Krentz at the hands of a suspected cartel member or drug smuggler led to the development of SB 1070. Conservative and immigration-minded voters swarmed the ballot box and independents swung right as Republicans swept statewide offices.
All that, with a registration edge of just 128,000 voters.
The bottom line: Advocacy groups will spend millions of dollars to register Arizona voters over the next 12 months. Arguably more important will be a message that turns them out.
Veridus Clients in the news
Zovio, an education technology services company founded in San Diego, California, celebrated its new corporate headquarters in Chandler with a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week.
Elected officials, state and local business leaders and hundreds of Zovio employees attended the event.
[…] The new 130,000-square-foot facility, near Cooper Road and Loop 202, will eventually be home to about 800 employees, according to Zovio.
The offices feature modern meeting rooms with wireless technology; covered parking with solar panels that generate more than 30 percent of the facility’s electric needs; and an on-site café, health center, gym and coffee bar.
[…] Glenn Hamer, president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, initiated a line of praise for Zovio from the panelists.
“I want to thank you and the Zovio team for what you’re doing: 400 jobs, on the way to 800,” Hamer said. “We’re now the fastest-growing county in the United States of America, and because of your work, we’re going to grow even a little bit faster.”
[…] Todd Sanders, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber, said it was an honor to welcome an ed tech leader into the region, and he hopes the company will continue to grow.
[…] Terri Kimble, president and CEO of the Chandler Chamber of Commerce, said Chandler is using education as an economic development tool, and Zovio will contribute to that.
[…] Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke.According to Kimble, 76 percent of Chandler residents have at least some type of higher education — higher than the state and national averages — and 54 percent have at least a bachelor’s degree or higher.
[…].“Zovio is bringing the education of tomorrow to Chandler by using advanced data and analytics to make it easy for each person to take that next step forward, whether that be towards a better job, that next promotion or fulfilling lifelong goals,” said Rep. Jeff Weninger, R-Chandler, during the panel discussion. “This benefits not just the residents and business owners here in Chandler and Arizona, but nationwide, as we work to close that skills gap and ensure continued economic prosperity.”
Arizona State Sen. J.D. Mesnard, R-Chandler.State Sen. J.D. Mesnard, R-Chandler, said he and Weninger have been working for years in the Arizona Legislature to make the state the best place for businesses to move, grow and thrive, and it’s “thrilling” to see those efforts come to fruition. […]
Founded in 1944, the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas (FPAA) celebrated its 75th year as an association at the Annual FPAA Produce Convention & Golf Tournament at the Tubac Golf Resort on November 7-9, 2019.
The FPAA Convention is the event to attend for educational sessions, networking opportunities, food, and much more. The FPAA also showcased the 75 Years of FPAA Gallery, which displayed history starting from the association’s beginnings to now.
[…] The educational sessions on Thursday offered attendees the opportunity to connect with others in the industry. This year the FPAA offered a new segment titled Produce Industry Storyteller, where three industry leaders shared their story about how they worked their way up to success. Storyteller speakers included Raquel Espinoza of Produce House, Walter Ram of Giumarra Companies, and Jaime Chamberlain of Chamberlain Distributing. The keynote speaker for this year was Rick Stein of Food Marketing Institute (FMI), who spoke about fresh food strategies. This year, attendees also received a Cold Facility Update from Georgina Felix of the FPAA. The educational sessions were rounded out by a panel of industry experts that focused on hot topics impacting the produce industry. The panel was moderated by Chris Ciruli of Ciruli Brothers and featured Tom Stenzel of United Fresh Produce Association, Ron LeMaire of Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA), Rick Stein of FMI, and Britton Clarke of BC Consulting.
Friday was another full day for attendees. The Consulate General of Mexico and the FPAA teamed up to host the 4th Annual Culinary Showcase, which invited guests to experience delicious food from chefs across Arizona and Mexico that feature the fresh produce items imported by the FPAA’s members.
The highlight of the evening was when Lance Jungmeyer, president of the FPAA presented Charles “Chuck” Ciruli, Jr. with the Pillar of the FPAA Award. The Pillar of the FPAA Award is given to members of the association that have contributed greatly to the evolution and sustainability of the U.S. industry importing fresh produce from Mexico. Chuck was honored for his commitment to the FPAA and the produce industry. […]
Veridus is proud to represent a true “who’s who” roster of premier members of the business community. The Veridus Weekly has proven to be an excellent opportunity to highlight key announcements, activities, etc. If you would like to feature something in an upcoming issue, reply to this email or send information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In other news …
MESA, AZ — Mesa leaders are making a big announcement Monday morning regarding autism certification.
Visit Mesa recently became the country’s first-ever destination marketing organization to get autism certification. The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) awarded the certification. The board makes sure agencies are addressing the needs of people with cognitive disorders.
To get the autism certification, Visit Mesa staff completed awareness and sensitivity training. Leaders say it’s part of the city’s mission to show families that Mesa is dedicated to serving people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
[…] Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disorder in the world. According to the CDC, one out of 59 children in the United States have autism.
“This is a very large consumer-base that we want to get in front of, and I think Mesa has a tremendous opportunity to do this. Mesa really is the perfect place for something like this,” said Marc Garcia, the president and CEO of Visit Mesa.
[…] To learn more about becoming autism certified, click here. […]
A solid and increasingly diversified economy, along with prudent budget policies, have led to an upgrade in Arizona’s credit rating.
Rating agency Moody’s Investors Service said it expects Arizona’s economy “will continue to perform positively and that the state will maintain ample reserves” in boosting Arizona’s rating to the second highest notch.
Moody’s rates states on a 21-grade scale, from C at the low end to Aaa at the top. Arizona now has the second highest rating, at Aa1, up from Aa2 previously. The increase means the state could benefit from slightly lower interest rates when selling bonds or issuing other debt. Arizona has about $1.5 billion in state-issued bonds and similar instruments that have been evaluated by Moody’s.
[…] Arizona’s rating has improved two times since the last downgrade in July 2010, near the depths of the recession, Moody’s said.
Fifteen states have top Aaa ratings. Arizona joins 17 other states one notch below that. Arizona’s most recent upgrade was in 2015.
“Today’s rating boost is further validation that Arizona is going in the right direction — and that smart policies do matter,” Gov. Doug Ducey said in a prepared statement.
Ducey cited employment growth, a balanced state budget, debt reductions and a rising balance in the Rainy Day Fund in responding to the Moody’s announcement. […]
Veridus’ own John Fetherston made a recent guest appearance on Arizona Horizon to discuss the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Click the image to watch!