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Gov. Jan Brewer’s endorsement at top of wish list for GOP candidates

PHOENIX — What’s in a name? If it’s the right name, a lot.

Arizona Republicans seeking the governor’s office are lining up endorsements and Valley political expert Stan Barnes said Gov. Jan Brewer’s name is at the top of everyone’s wish list.

“Normally endorsements are a lot of heat and no light. They’re not really that impactful,” Barnes said. “In a Republican primary that’s close, distinguishing yourself with a prominent, respected governor like Jan Brewer would make a lot of difference.”

Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, is another coveted endorsement.

Last week, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was the the first big-name Republican to throw his support behind one of several GOP gubernatorial candidates, backing Doug Ducey, the state treasurer.

The Republican field includes Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, former Go Daddy executive Christine Jones, former Mesa mayor Scott Smith and former California Congressman Frank Riggs.

Fred DuVal is the leading Democrat in the race. He’s a former Clinton staffer and Barnes said an endorsement from President Clinton would have a “tremendous” impact in the general election.

“Time has been good to Bill Clinton and I think he is generally liked by the center of the Arizona political electorate. … I think it’s one of the secret weapons that Fred DuVal has.”