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Updated Aug 7, 2014 - 9:13 am

Sarah Palin: 'Doug Ducey is the conservative leader Arizona needs'

PHOENIX -- Sarah Palin has endorsed Arizona Treasurer Doug Ducey for state governor.

"Doug Ducey is the private sector job creator and proven conservative leader that Arizona needs as its next governor," the former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate said on her Facebook page.

Ducey's endorsement came hours after the announcement of an event hosted by former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith and Gov. Jan Brewer, where she is expected to officially endorse Smith.

Palin joins Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and many other conservatives who also endorse Ducey for governor.

"Through his efforts as CEO, Doug grew Cold Stone Creamery from a small local Tempe ice cream parlor with four stores into a major international chain with 1,400 franchises in 31 countries," she wrote.

After these endorsements, the contest may become a close race between Ducey and Smith in the final weeks of the campaign.

Palin is the second national figure to officially endorse Ducey in the last seven days. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced last week that he would be supporting Ducey.

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