PHOENIX — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Farley politicized the tragic death that occurred this week after an accident involving a self-driving Uber vehicle, saying that Arizona needs “new leadership” in the Governor’s Office next year.
Farley, a state senator, currently serves in the state legislature. He is running for the Democratic Party’s nomination in the race for governor.
On Monday, Arizona experienced a tragic fatality involving a self-driving vehicle — the country’s first since the technology came onto the market. The vehicle struck and killed a 49-year-old homeless Tempe woman, who will remain unnamed on this website for her friends and family’s privacy, as she crossed the street out of the crosswalk on Mill Avenue.
Farley quickly pinned the blame on his potential general-election opponent, Governor Doug Ducey, citing the governor’s stance on regulatory policy.
“This ‘low regulatory environment’ has now led to a fatality,” Farley wrote on social media. “I have been warning for years — Ducey has a dangerous desire to allow flashy out-of-state corporations to operate without oversight.”
“We need new leadership,” the Democratic candidate wrote in a follow-up tweet, adding the “#AZGOV” hashtag, which refers to the 2018 gubernatorial race.
Others issued less political statements.
The Governor’s Office said that “our hearts go out to the victim involved,” while Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s chief executive officer, called the incident “incredibly sad news” and promised Arizonans that the company is “thinking of the victim’s family as we work with local law enforcement to understand what happened.”
David Garcia, Farley’s opponent in the primary race, has faced similar criticism.
The Arizona State University professor was confronted on the radio earlier this month for unnecessarily politicizing a grassroots event organized by teachers.
Farley and Garcia — who have received dueling union endorsements from the American Federation of Teachers and Arizona Education Association, respectively — will face each other on the primary ballot in August 2018.
A version of this article first appeared at The Farley Report.