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Updated May 8, 2014 - 2:27 pm

Democrat Fred DuVal files for Arizona governor’s race

PHOENIX — Democrat Fred DuVal on Thursday filed more than twice the number
of signatures needed to qualify for the Arizona governor’s race.

DuVal prepares a
campaign he hopes will return a Democrat to the state’s top elected office for
the first time in six years.

The former member of the Arizona Board of Regents filed more than 10,000
qualifying signatures he said were collected from voters by volunteers in all 15

DuVal faces no serious competition for the Democratic nomination in the August
primary, so he’ll likely face the winner of what is shaping up as a seven-way
primary fight among Republican candidates. Republican Gov. Jan Brewer is
term-limited and said in March she would not fight a constitutional battle to
seek another term.

The 59-year-old said he plans to campaign on his belief that the state needs to
change direction. He said he’ll push to restore cuts to education he contends
have been devastating and expand job opportunities for working families.

“I’m about solutions, I’m about change, I’m about a vision for Arizona that
expands opportunity, increases the quality of our jobs and increases our
educational quality,” DuVal told reporters. “And that is a message which talks
to Republican, Democrats and independents alike.”

The Republican primary is shaping up as a slug-fest between candidates that
have been scrambling to scratch out a leading position in a crowded field. Only
two Republicans have filed signatures so far to qualify for the ballot,
Secretary of State Ken Bennett and former GoDaddy executive Christine Jones.

Candidates have until May 28 to file more than 5,600 signatures needed to get on
the Republican primary ballot.

The other GOP candidates include state Treasurer Doug Ducey, former Mesa Mayor
Scott Smith, state Sen. Al Melvin, former Congressman Frank Riggs and former
Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas.

DuVal served as a top aide and adviser to Bruce Babbitt both during Babbitt’s
terms as Arizona governor in the late 1970s and the 1980s and his unsuccessful
campaign for the 1988 Democratic nomination for president. He served in
President Bill Clinton’s administration and was appointed by then-Gov. Janet
Napolitano to the Board of Regents. The Tucson native also worked in private

Although Arizona is seen as a conservative Republican state, he said that’s not
the case and he planned to campaign aggressively on a “change” platform. He
also noted that of the last three gubernatorial elections, a Democrat won twice.

“The fact that the Democrats have won two of the last three and have a
majority of the congressional seats suggests Arizona voters don’t really care as
much about R or D, they care about forward versus backward,” DuVal said. “They
want leadership that’s going to make change that’s going to give them the kind
of opportunity that they’re seeking. And they’ve proven time and time again that
they will vote for candidates not for party people.”


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