PHOENIX — Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett on Thursday became the
first candidate for governor to officially file papers to appear on the primary
Bennett was able to file before the official opening at the end of the month
because he’s running under the state’s clean elections law. He filed more than
8,600 nominating signatures, well in excess of the 5,600 required, and more than
5,400 contributions of $5 each to qualify for clean elections funding. That will
give him more than $750,000 for the primary race.
Bennett will face several announced Republican candidates with deep pockets or
strong fundraising prowess who are foregoing public financing. They include Mesa
Mayor Scott Smith, state Treasurer Doug Ducey and former GoDaddy legal counsel
Christine Jones. State Sen. Al Melvin and former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew
Thomas plan to run with public financing. Former California congressman Frank
Riggs has said he plans to run privately.
Fred DuVal is the only well-known Democratic candidate and plans to run with
“I don’t think money gets a person’s vote,” Bennett said after filing the
petitions and other documents at his own office. “I think experience, integrity
and a vision is what’s going to matter to the people of Arizona. I don’t think
they’re going to be swayed by the number of mail pieces or TV ads or things that
they see from me or other candidates.”
Bennett, 54, has been secretary of state since 2009 and served in the Senate
from 1999-2007. He was Senate president from 2003-2007. He has also served on
the Prescott City Council and ran a family oil company in Prescott for many
years. He is married with three children and now lives in Phoenix.