Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's life got a little easier today when her last remaining credible opponent in the GOP primary for governor, Owen "Buz" Mills, suspended his campaign.
Mills announced his decision today, saying the focus of the gubernatorial campaign is now immigration and border security and not economic issues -- like job creation and balancing the budget -- that drew him into the race in the first place.
In other words, ever since Jan Brewer signed SB 1070 -- making her the GOP's latest conservative darling and Greta Van Susteren's newest BFF -- Buz didn't stand a chance.
"I entered the race for governor because the solutions being proposed to solve the state budget and economic crisis were grossly misguided," Mills says in a statement. "Higher taxes, unsustainable spending, and more debt will continue to depress job creation in Arizona and delay a recovery. There is no doubt in my mind that fiscal and economic issues are the most important issues facing Arizonans."
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Mills' departure from the race comes just days after now-former-gubernatorial candidate Dean Martin announced he was dropping out for similar reasons.
The only active GOP candidates for governor now are Brewer and political newbie Mathew Jette -- who's chances at defeating the Brewer head-to-head are dismal to say the least.
Check out Mills' statement in its entirety below.
I entered the race for governor because the solutions being proposed to solve the state budget and economic crisis were grossly misguided. Higher taxes, unsustainable spending, and more debt will continue to depress job creation in Arizona and delay a recovery. There is no doubt in my mind that fiscal and economic issues are the most important issues facing Arizonans.
My goal was to offer a clear alternative to career politicians who were running on higher taxes and more spending. Under normal circumstances strong fiscal conservatives do well in Republican primary contests. I liked my chances. Unfortunately, these arent normal circumstances.
SB1070 has regrettably taken the focus off of job creation and fixing the state budget. So even though the chasm between Brewers policies and mine is dramatic, SB1070 has politically mitigated those issues. I have therefore decided to suspend the campaign.
I cannot express enough my heartfelt gratitude to all of those who supported my campaign. The volunteers who fanned across this state worked tirelessly to support me and our platform, and I will never be able to return the favor.
Of the many lessons learned, I believe now more than ever in the importance of electing strong fiscal conservatives. The states budget needs to be cut and the policies of higher taxes and deficit spending replaced by pro-growth fiscal policies.
So, after a short respite at the Ranch, Ill be back to advance the cause.