Douglas’ Mayor Robert Uribe had a front row seat at Monday’s inauguration for Governor Doug Ducey.
Prior to the ceremony Gov. Ducey had asked Mayor Uribe to serve as the master of ceremonies.
The inauguration ceremony was not only for Governor Ducey but also Secretary of State-elect Katie Hobbs, Attorney General Mark Brnovich, Treasurer-elect Kimberly Yee, Superintendent of Public Instruction-elect Kathy Hoffman and Mine Inspector Joe Hart.
Mayor Uribe said he was in awe by what he witnessed Monday and felt privileged to be able to represent the greatest border community in the state at such a significant event.
“What a great day for all Arizonans,” Mayor Uribe told the Douglas Dispatch. “Yes, I’m a Democrat, the Governor is a Republican — but we are all Arizonans.”
The mayor said this experience for him, was personal.
“I was born in the Dominican Republic, emigrated here as a child,” he said in his remarks to those at the inauguration. “It’s the American promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, coupled with Arizona’s promise of opportunity for all, that has allowed me to rise from a job as a coffee shop barista to having the honor of serving as the mayor of an incredible binational community.
“So much work will get done here at this Capitol. But as Governor Ducey has demonstrated, serving the people means listening to the people across our state. It's been an honor to host him in Douglas to walk our streets, and share how the policies enacted here impact all Arizonans.”
Mayor Uribe said he is humbled by the experience and grateful for the governor’s recognition to serve as the master of ceremonies. He added he was extremely blessed to have his wife Jenea there as well. Also, in attendance at the inauguration was Cochise College President Dr. JD Rottweiler.
“Anytime you have the opportunity to represent your college and your county is an honor,” he said. “(This) is a great opportunity to see state-wide elected officials take their oath of office and commit to work together for the betterment of the state of Arizona.”
Dr. Rottweiler said he felt Mayor Uribe did a wonderful job and was a great representative of Cochise County and the City of Douglas.
“I think the Douglas residents should be proud of him and should recognize his work and leadership as Douglas is on the map as it relates to the governor’s office,” he said.
“The governor has made it very clear he wants to work with rural communities, border communities” Dr. Rottweiler said. “I felt the mayor really set the tone by talking about the fact that he is a Democrat, was invited to be the master of ceremonies when a Republican governor comes back in. That message was continued clear throughout as we saw statewide elected officials from both parties take their oath of office.”
Dr. Rottweiler said Monday’s inauguration gives all Arizonans hope as to the direction we are headed.
“I think the right words were said,” he said. “Now the question is: Can we act upon those words and do what’s in the best interest for the entire state.”
Ducey’s press aide Patrick Ptak told the Capitol Media Services, his boss tapped Uribe because he is a Democrat, mayor of a border town and that community's first African-American mayor. That, said Ptak, underlines what is expected to be the governor's theme for the day of working together and "inclusivity,'' especially now that the two of the top five state officials, unlike Ducey, are Democrats.
There's also the fact that Uribe supported Ducey's reelection effort, the Capitol Media Services noted.
Monday’s program included inauguration music from the Arizona National Guard 108th Army band, a Joint Color Guard of the Arizona National Guard and the Arizona Department of Public Safety, an F-16 flyover, and a musical interlude by renowned Native American flutist, Jonah Littlesunday. In honor of the late Congressman Pastor, Governor Ducey and the First Lady asked Congressman Pastor’s grandchildren, Eddie Cotto, Sophia Cotto, Frankie Rivera and Alexis Lopez, to say the Pledge of Allegiance.