Ascent of a Woman

Meet Jane Hull. She's probably your next governor.

Much has been made of her integrity for resigning her office early to run for secretary of state.

But few recall that the resignation allowed her to raise money for a statewide race. That year, Hull had sponsored legislation prohibiting officeholders from fund raising during the legislative session.

Not many elected officials are eager to show off their campaign-finance reports, but that's what Jane Hull is doing. She's sitting before an oversize computer monitor in her average-size office, punching keys and clicking her mouse until she finds the Hull '98 committee report.

One of Hull's major accomplishments as secretary of state was putting campaign-finance reports on the Internet, making public access easier, and she's proud of her work. Her '98 report's not awfully interesting, anyhow.

Her latest campaign filing--reflecting contributions through November 1996--shows she's picked up close to $30,000 in contributions, from most of the usual suspects.

What is interesting is that in the past few months, Hull has carefully raised her public profile. Last December, she raked in about $70,000 at a luncheon fund raiser at Arizona Biltmore. That figure is not yet recorded in her latest campaign-finance report.

Republican consultant Jason Rose says it's the best fund raiser he's been to in a long time. Dan Quayle was the guest of honor, 600 people attended and the host committee was a Who's Who of Arizona Republicans.

"And they all showed, unlike what usually happens," Rose says. "Every single one of them."

Even Governor Symington, who spoke.
Of course, the fund raiser ostensibly was held to benefit Hull's 1998 secretary of state campaign. But under Arizona law, campaign war chests can be transferred to races for other offices.

The supporters in attendance knew that.
Jane Hull says she won't challenge Symington in 1998 if he is still the sitting governor. Conceivably, she could wind up using the money merely to secure a second term as secretary of state.

In Arizona politics--particularly during the reign of Fife Symington--stranger things have happened. Not everyone is betting on a 1997 Hull governorship.

Longtime Democratic political pundit Rick DeGraw, who ran Eddie Basha's unsuccessful campaign for governor in 1994 and will most likely run Basha's campaign in 1998, says he's planning to go up against Symington, not Hull.

"I don't agree that Fife is going to be gone. I know that is the political wisdom, but I don't agree with it," DeGraw says.

"I see no reason that he would voluntarily resign, even if he's found guilty, as long as he's appealing it, and anybody who tells me that this Legislature would force him out of office is nuts. So I don't know how the hell he gets out of office.

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