As should probably should have been expected, it was mostly filler of the "I'm a political reporter and the legislature is out of session, so I have to come up with *something* to keep my editor happy" variety.
Well, if a trained, experienced, professional journalist gets to do that, so can a lowly amateur blogger (that's my way of saying that it's time for a little filler here :) ).
In his article, Sunnucks mentioned a few names. Here's my take on those names, plus a few more added for good measure -
Jan Brewer - she may want it, but she is unlikely to get it. Those pesky term limits will get in the way.
Ken Bennett - as Secretary of State, he's the heir apparent on the R side. Formed an "exploratory" committee this past week, so should have a large campaign warchest by the time 2014 rolls around. The presumptive frontrunner in the general election, with the caveat: it's three years out.
Tom Horne - current AG and has had his eye on the 9th floor for years. Best shot may be if a D wins in 2014 and he can challenge as the R frontrunner in 2018. May be too old after that.
Paul Babeu - current Pinal County Sheriff. I think this one is just pure filler on Sunnucks' part, but given the state of R politics anything could happen. Still, seems more likely to pursue a Congressional run rather than a statewide run to take advantage of fame/notoriety in a single area of the state.
John Shadegg - former Congressman and current
Scott Smith - current mayor of Mesa. I don't know enough about him to comment.
Hugh Hallman and Jim Lane - the mayors of Tempe and Scottsdale, respectively. Both are up for reelection next year and neither is a lock (though Lane is in better shape). Either one would have to win reelection and then raise his statewide profile. Hallman has ambitions but probably needs to solidify his wavering base of support in Tempe before even *thinking* of a statewide run. If Lane runs, the marionette strings will run right back to the Goldwater Institute and Lamar Whitmer.
My adds -
Russell Pearce - current president of the state senate (at least until the recall petitions are certified) and would love to be publicly considered the "top dog," but a move to the ninth floor would be a step up in paycheck size but a step down in practical political power. And Pearce is all about power. If he does go for it, however, he could get through an R primary, but may be too polarizing for the general election.
Fife Symington - former governor and pardoned convicted felon. Makes noises about running again every four years. Fellow Republicans want nothing to do with him, but Democrats pray that he runs and wins the nomination. May be why he never follows through on his threats to run again.
Brenda Burns - current member of the Arizona Corporation Commission. Big Fan of Big Business, and Big Business is a Big Fan of hers. ACC isn't exactly the highest profile perch from which to launch a high profile campaign, but if the chips fall the right way, could trade in her ACC reelection campaign for a campaign for governor.
Joe Arpaio - currently the rather infamous sheriff in Maricopa County. Like Symington, makes noises every four years. Unlike Symington, has more than a snowball's chance in Phoenix of pulling it off on the R side. Still, even if he avoids federal indictment, come 2014 he'll be, like, 900 years old (actually, 82). For a lot of reasons, not gonna happen.