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Michael Manning Won't Run for AZ Attorney General, After All

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Michael Manning, the lawyer who's made a mint suing Sheriff Joe Arpaio and other local miscreants, has decided not to run for Arizona Attorney General, after all.

Turns out too many people are dependent on Manning's rainmaking skills for him to leave private practice. Must be nice!

"Shortly after it became public that I had been urged to run for Attorney General in 2010, I received a petition signed by most members of my office's staff," Manning wrote in a letter to New Times yesterday. "Their petition expressed support in the event I decided to run but also expressed concern about the impact a win would have on our office and on their jobs. They urged that I decline that honorable quest."

And, Manning tells New Times, he ultimately decided to listen.

"After careful consideration and discussions with dozens of people whose opinions I, and others, highly value, I believe it is quite likely that I would win that election," Manning wrote. "And I know it would have been my life's highest honor to serve as Attorney General.

"Nevertheless, I have decided that I will not become a candidate for Attorney General in the upcoming election.The likely consequences of winning that race on my family, my firm, and my friends are too impactful at this time."

Manning (full disclosure) is handling New Times' suit against Sheriff Joe Arpaio and attorney Dennis Wilenchik for their role in the arrests of this company's CEO and executive editor. That case in ongoing.

He's also been involved in some seriously big litigation: He took on Charles Keating. He collected a cool $8.25 million from Sheriff Joe Arpaio's insurance company in 2000, after the wrongful death of Scott Norberg. He also represented the family of Carol Gotbaum, whose death at Sky Harbor sparked national headlines in 2007. (In that case, the city of Phoenix eventually settled for just $250,000.)

So even as employees at Stinson Morrison Hecker, Manning's firm, can rest assured that he's still bringing in the bacon, voters' choices have dwindled somewhat.

On the Dem side, former prosecutor Felecia Rotellini is now almost certainly the odds-on favorite. (Despite low name recognition, she's got the resume.) State Representative David Lujan is also considering a run.

On the Republican side, voters will probably get to choose between State Schools Superintendent Tom Horne and (sigh) Maricopa County Andrew Thomas.

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