Governor 2010: Anti-Brewer Conservatives are First to File

Three people have signed up to run for governor in next year's election, including two conservatives who say they're in the race specifically to counter Jan Brewer's tax-increase proposal. Brewer, who fell into the governor's chair when Janet Napolitano eloped with President Obama, has yet to file paperwork for the 2010 election.

Tim Willis, 53, a Bible-thumping pastor of the Congress Community Church just north of Wickenburg, says he threw his hat in the ring because "we need someone who's going to act like a Republican to run under the Republican ticket." As secretary of state, Brewer screwed up the wording on the anti-gay-marriage ballot proposal, resulting in a loss in 2006 and millions of dollars spent by proponents to ensure the 2008 win, he says. Plus, he's not happy at all that Brewer has shelved anti-abortion bills while dealing with budget issues.

"She's more interested in fiscal problems than moral problems," Willis complains.

Click here for Willis' Web site.

Moderates may find more like in Roy Miller, 63, a "lifelong Republican" from Phoenix.

But Miller's Libertarian views are a mixed blessing, judging by his many blog posts on the azcentral.com site. If you like the idea of legalizing marijuana, Miller's your guy. If you like going to a park without having to pay like it's a golf course, he's not your guy.

The affable Miller, a retired banker and part-time business consultant, laughs when explaining how he's the only conservative at his Unitarian church. He says he's serious about his candidacy -- but will probably drop out when some big-name candidate shows up who will run against Brewer.

"There has to be a Republican in the race who's opposed to a tax increase," Miller says. "I'd like to see Jeff Flake or John Shadegg run."

The third candidate, Janelle L. Wood, a Tempe insurance agent, tells New Times she isn't ready to talk about her plans. But she's tied to a religious, right-wing independent party that appears to desire a theocracy instead of the current system of government. She's gotta be a conservative.

It appears the field is wide open for liberal, Democrat candidates -- especially those who support a big tax increase.

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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.