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Democratic Arizona Governor Candidate Unveils Economic Plan

AP Photo/Anita Snow

Democratic candidate David Garcia on Monday announced his plans for economic development, saying he will focus on a fair economy for Arizona's workers if he is elected governor in November.

"Our workforce is increasingly dominated by a service sector where workers do not have basic protections, benefits or wages that can support a family," Garcia said in his plan. "Arizona lags the rest of the county with 34 states seeing faster wage growth."

Nearly 28 percent of Arizona jobs are in low-wage industries, and 18 percent of the state's workers live paycheck to paycheck, Garcia said. "We can and must do better," he said.

The fourth-generation Arizona Latino and education professor is running against incumbent Republican Gov. Doug Ducey.

Up to now, Garcia has focused mostly on his support for public education, including more money for Arizona's schools.

His other top priorities for the economy include solar and other renewable energy, helping people graduate from college, innovation, education training, worker protections, and Arizona's native tribes and rural areas, Garcia said.

During the campaign, Ducey has placed heavy emphasis on increased security along Arizona's southern border aimed at stopping the flow of drugs and illegal immigration.

Ducey has touted Arizona's economic successes, saying that under his leadership as governor the state has added more than 240,000 jobs and about 300 companies have moved or expanded here. Ducey has also pointed out his emphasis on eliminating regulations and simplifying taxes, insisting that Garcia's "radical proposals" would raise taxes on small business and middle-class families.

Garcia's plan unveiled Monday, called "Build Arizona," says the state's economy currently "is defined by record profits for the lucky few at the top and low wages for everybody else."

"When corporations come to Arizona we eliminate or reduce their taxes; 74 percent of Arizona corporations pay less than $50 in income tax liability," it says.