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Former Go Daddy executive joins chase for Arizona GOP governor’s primary

PHOENIX — A former executive for GoDaddy who is touting her conservative
credentials filed nominating petitions Tuesday to enter the Republican primary
for Arizona governor.

Christine Jones, a former legal counsel for the website hosting company,
submitted her paperwork on the opening day of the regular filing period for the
August primary.

Jones is running without public funding and called herself an “unapologetic
conservative” who will fight for gun rights, border security, and to eliminate
federal intrusion into school policy.

“Let’s encourage job growth by getting the government out of the way. Let’s
strive for excellence in education by applying Arizona standards, not federal
standards. And importantly, let’s enforce immigration law with no amnesty,” she
said at a news conference at the Capitol. “If you stand up to the federal
government … you can actually make a difference.”

Jones’ position on new education standards known as Common Core should resonate
with conservatives who believe the state-developed standards are driven by the
federal government. They are, however, strongly supported by the state Education
Department, the business community and Republican Gov. Jan Brewer.

Jones is already airing television ads in the Phoenix area and appears prepared
to spend millions in the race that features a crowded field of other
Republicans, most also running as conservatives. Other announced Republican
candidates include former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, state Treasurer Doug Ducey,
state Sen. Al Melvin, former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and former
California congressman Frank Riggs. Republican Secretary of State Ken Bennett
was able to file for the GOP governor’s primary on April 10 because he gathered
enough signatures and $5 contributions to qualify for public campaign funding.
Melvin and Thomas also plan to run using public funding.

Fred DuVal is only well-known Democratic candidate, and Libertarian Barry Hess
also plans to run.

Jones has already been targeted by an outside group for her contention that she
worked as a prosecutor in Los Angeles. Jones produced an LA County district
attorney’s identity card that identified her as a volunteer law clerk. She said
she volunteered as a prosecutor while attending law school and prosecuted
misdemeanor and felony cases.

Jones, 45, joined GoDaddy as the company’s in-house counsel in 2002, when the
Internet domain company had only a few dozen employees. She left the company
after the 2011 sale of its parent company, Go Daddy Group Inc., to private
investment groups for $2.25 billion but continues to be an investor and
consultant for the Scottsdale-based firm.

She said Monday she’s running as an outsider with broad business experience who
has testified before Congress and is a strong supporter of gun rights.

“You are ready for a leader that is not a career politician, someone who will
lead with no strings attached,” she told supporters. “I am an unapologetic
conservative, I am a fierce defender of the Constitution, and as your governor,
I assure you I will lead with untethered ideas.”