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PHOENIX About 35 percent of the nearly 200 state and legislative candidates in this year's election decided to run using Arizona's publicly funded Clean Elections system.

The Arizona Republic reports that 72 people are running with Clean Elections funding.

The Clean Elections system, approved by voters in 1998, provides funding for candidates for governor, legislative seats and other state offices.

Candidates who voluntarily participate must collect a set number of $5 contributions from voters to qualify for public funding.

In return, they must adhere to certain spending limits.

Traffic and criminal fine surcharges fund most of the Clean Elections system.

The commission will hold nine candidate debates in the next two months.

Clean Elections participants must attend the debates.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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