This came as a bit of a shocker on a slow, Friday afternoon but we just got word that Treasurer Dean Martin is suspending his campaign to become the Republican nominee for governor.
In a statement released moments ago, Martin says by continuing his campaign he would only be taking away from Governor Jan Brewer's ability to fight the federal government's lawsuit over SB 1070.
In other words, Martin seems to realize he had no chance at beating the new, Republican golden-girl in a race that will almost certainly focus on the immigration debate -- and in which Jan has the upper-hand after signing SB 1070 and taking on the Obama Administration.
"During a time when the Obama Administration has filed a frivolous lawsuit against our great state, a budget deficit is looming, and our economy is still shaky, I feel a contested primary would be a distraction," Martin says in a statement. "While a serious debate about the fiscal condition of our state is needed, the heavy hand of the Obama Administration will not allow this debate to continue. I fully intend to support the Governor in her battle with the Obama Administration and its relentless attack on the people of Arizona."
Martin goes on to urge the governor to file a lawsuit against the federal government for its failure to secure the border and the money it's cost the state of Arizona.
"Earlier this year I sent former Arizona Governor and now Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano a bill for one billion dollars of uncompensated costs due to incarceration of illegal
immigrants who have committed felonies in Arizona," Martin continues. "This is a good start and trust the Governor will follow through. As a state we need to stand together to fight the overreaching federal government that has failed to secure our border with Mexico."
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Martin began his campaign as somewhat of the Republican front-runner.
Brewer, who at the time was struggling to balance the budget, was one of the least-popular elected officials -- within her own party -- in the entire country.
Then, ta-da, SB 1070 happened -- thrusting Brewer into the national spotlight and making her the new, conservative darling, replacing Sarah Palin as Greta VanSusteren's BFF.
Unless Terry Goddard, the likely Democratic candidate for governor, can pull out a miracle in November, it's lookin' more and more like Arizona can expect four more years of Jan and the Brew Crew.