The race to succeed Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) has become an increasingly nasty one as two of the leading GOP candidates lambaste each other's business experiences.
Christine Jones, a former executive and general counsel at the web domain hosting company GoDaddy, called Arizona state Treasurer and former Cold Stone Creamery CEO Doug Ducey a "misogynistic jerk" in response to comments he made about her business credentials.
At a candidate debate that aired July 27, Ducey had addressed Jones' time at GoDaddy, implying that she had misrepresented her position there.
"You were a line employee at GoDaddy with no leadership experience," Ducey told Jones at the debate. "And I don't know what qualifies you for this race besides your own wallet."
Jones responded to the comment in The Arizona Capitol Times on Tuesday, saying, "Being a condescending, misogynistic jerk is not the way to win an election. I have heard from a lot of professional women that, if they had any doubt in their mind about voting for me before they heard that line, they're absolutely voting for me now, because they've worked with 'that guy' in their career."
Jones left GoDaddy, a company known for its Super Bowl advertisements featuring scantily clad women, in 2012.
Jones has injected more than $2 million of her money into the primary, which will be settled Aug. 26.
Ducey spokeswoman Melissa DeLaney told The Arizona Capitol Times that "no reasonable person" would interpret Ducey's comment as sexist and that Jones' response was simply a "last-ditch effort to revive her failing campaign."
GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons, who has contributed more than $1 million to an outside group supporting Jones, defended his former employee and attacked Ducey's leadership of Cold Stone Creamery in a Tuesday interview with The Arizona Republic.
"Nobody likes a bully, and I think that was a very bullying thing that he said," Parsons said.