Andrew Thomas Qualifies for Clean Elections Commission Funding

Andrew Thomas, who infamously abused his power as Maricopa County Attorney and had his law license taken away, has qualified for $754,000 in public funds for his gubernatorial campaign.

The Arizona Secretary of State's Office confirmed on Thursday that a supplemental filing of 259 five-dollar contributions Thomas made on Tuesday put him over the top for the 4,500 he needed to qualify for Clean Elections Commission funding.

See also: -Andrew Thomas Comes Up Short for Clean Elections Money, Needs 113 More $5 Bills -Top Eight Reasons Why Nobody Should Vote for Andrew Thomas for Governor in 2014

A few of the new contributions were found to be invalid, but 234 of them were deemed okay, meaning he's "hereby approved for funds," the confirmation letter signed today by Ken Bennett, Secretary of State, says. Bennett, by the way, is the only other GOP candidate to qualify for public campaign funding so far. Several other candidates are participating in the program but haven't yet submitted their contributions.

If that doesn't frighten you, how about this: In a six-way Republican primary, fast approaching on August 26, Thomas only needs 17 percent of the vote to win. With no one GOP candidate emerging as a clear front-runner in the pack, a Thomas victory is certainly possible, battered reputation aside.

Have we told you lately how awesome Christine Jones is? And Scott Smith -- what a mayor! Doug Ducey, Ken Bennett and -- some other guy. They've got to be better, no? You don't want the tainted Thomas going up against Fred DuVal, the sole Democratic candidate for the governor's race, do you?

Not that we're taking sides. If Thomas can win, more power to him. It might even be fun to cover his antics as a journalist -- sort of a return to the Ev Mecham days, we figure. Then again, with his personal beefs, proven bad judgment and disrespect for the law, he could do a lot of damage if voters give him real power.

At the least, it'll be interesting to see how Thomas spends his sizable pot of Clean Elections money.

Got a tip? Send it to: Ray Stern.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.