"When I was 12 or 13, my father and some local cowboys rounded up a bunch of Mexican pack-horses that had been abandoned by drug runners, and brought them to our little ranch just north of Nogales. The county quarantined them there, holding them for a month to be sold at auction. The day arrived and the trucks did also, including one small truck with a rickety trailer bearing Sonoran plates. The driver was an old Mexican rancher who had come to claim one of his stolen animals. As the auction proceeded, and his horse hit the block, nobody took the first bid, so the auctioneer lowered the price. Over and over again, the ranchers held back on a better and better deal till the auctioneer finally called out "one Dollar".
"At that point, with all in attendance watching in silence, the old man with his branding iron and papers in hand, made the bid. He got his horse back. We all know what is right. We all should love doing the right thing, even if we could make a fair profit with a more selfish choice. This lesson in honor was taught to me by ranchers and neighbors when I was a boy. It's a lesson I'll never forget. Later in life, duty called me to the Marine Corps. Then eventually to become Maricopa County Recorder. And it was a solemn but honorable duty I fulfilled when I peacefully and without complaint handed that office to my successor, Recorder Stephen Richer.
"He and Supervisor Bill Gates, like so many around the nation, are now fulfilling their duties under the disgraceful and anti-American circumstances involving harassment and threats to their lives. This domestic terrorism is anathema to the constitutional order and must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Honor and Integrity will replace conspiracy and fascism. Hard work and prosperity will replace grift and uncertain chaos. Election officials who do their work nobly, in the face of these threats, should be commended, properly compensated, and supported robustly in the work they do on behalf of the democracy that upholds this great Republic. I am proud to work again with Governor Hobbs and now with Attorney General Mayes, to protect democracy, and to honor the mandate the voters gave us to continue showing the world that our democratic republic is still humanity's brightest beacon.
"As your Secretary of State, my mission is to build up more than just the efficacy of our elections. I will use this office to educate the public about the work election officials do and to promote the integrity and safety of these individuals. We also need to invest in the future by assuring the preservation of our past. Our archives and our libraries are repositories of not just our history, but the accumulation of our knowledge. We need to make them accessible, usable, and attractive, because the wisdom and experience, and knowledge they contain can illuminate the road we take.
"Another objective in my mission is to make our business services move at the speed of business. I will prioritize efficiency and responsiveness in our business services by working with all those who are vested in greasing the skids so that our government work allows the private sector to do theirs without delay. I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to express gratitude. I am grateful to all those who helped get me to this moment. My selfless family, specifically my partner Nicole and my three amazing daughters Olivia, Isabella, and Adrianna to my parents and all my extended family, mil abrazos. I thank my devoted Arizona-based campaign team and the brave coalition of Republicans, Independents, Democrats, Business and Labor leaders, volunteers, and donors who helped to build, who all put our country before their party.
"Those ranchers and cowboys could easily have taken that old man's horse on a very low bid. It would have been technically legal, but it would not have been right. Their honor IS the dignity of Arizona. We preserve it well in the hearts of our people, we simply need to quiet ourselves, occasionally, and listen to the lessons that Arizona has to teach.
"Last and most importantly, I must thank the voters of Arizona who rightfully have the final say in any contest for leadership. I did not run as a partisan, nor will I govern as such. I ran as an Arizonan, and this is how I will serve as your Secretary of State. I humbly thank you."