Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, a Republican, announced that he's entering the race for governor.
Unlike several others who have threatened to run for governor, including a B-list actor and a disbarred attorney, Smith actually has a solid chance of becoming Arizona's governor in 2014.
The Republican field also has quite a few players, including state Treasurer Doug Ducey, Secretary of State Ken Bennett, former Go Daddy executive Christine Jones, state Senator Al Melvin, and the aforementioned disbarred attorney and disgraced former Maricopa County Attorney, Andrew "Candy Andy" Thomas.
Of course, the thing that could screw it all up would be Governor Jan Brewer seeking a likely unconstitutional third term. Though she's continued to insist that she hasn't made up her mind, she's been openly speculating about running for a third term, even though the Arizona Constitution prevents someone from holding more than two consecutive terms. (Her opinion is that since she took over for departing Governor Janet Napolitano, that first term doesn't match the definition of a term.)
The Dems, on the other hand, made the primary easy on themselves, as all the high-profile Democrats are throwing their weight behind Fred DuVal.
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As for Smith, he says he's stepping down from his post in Mesa to run for governor. Smith was first elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012. He had a business career before jumping into politics, and being business-minded has always been his platform.
Smith wrote on his Facebook page Wednesday night:
I have a story that no one else can tell. I have an experience that no one else can offer. When I talk about economic development at a government level, I know how to do it -- I've done it. When I talk about truly balancing budgets and shifting resources, and having to make tough policy decisions...I've done it as mayor. No one else can tell that story and no one else has that experience.