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Fred DuVal throws hat in the governor's race

The election for Arizona’s next governor is a year and a half away. But the campaign has already started.

Longtime political activist Fred DuVal formally announced his candidacy Wednesday for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. DuVal has worked for two Arizona governors and President Bill Clinton.

DuVal served in Arizona governor Bruce Babbitt’s administration in the early 1980s. He said during that time, the Democratic governor worked with Republican leaders in the legislature to deal with major issues like health care and land use. DuVal says even though today’s legislature is much more polarized, and conservative than he is, he thinks if he is elected he could bridge those differences

"There are legislators of both parties but specifically to your question, Republicans, who really do want to create a less-partisan environment for the state of Arizona, who really do want to navigate a bipartisan more sustainable path forward for an economic strategy for Arizona," DuVal said.

DuVal says one of his key issues will be to increase state funding for Arizona's educational system, which he says has been shortchanged. He says all schools from kindergarten to the universities have had their budgets cut during the recession

"There needs to be sustained investment. But also that our schools need to be held accountable for that investment. We can have a big argument over what accountability means and how to make sure that every school has a chance to succeed. But it really lies in convincing voters to make an investment based upon their confidence that the leadership in the state and the leadership in the schools will produce good outcomes for the investments made," he said.

DuVal was appointed to the Arizona Board of Regents by former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano in 2006. Her served as the board chairman in 2012.