Friday, January 11, 2013

Hugh Hallman, former mayor of Tempe, "pondering" a 2014 run for governor

From the Phoenix Business Journal, written by Mike Sunnucks -

Former Tempe mayor Hugh Hallman is looking at running for Arizona governor in 2014.
The Republican said on his website today he is pondering a run.
“Over the next few months, I will be traveling the state of Arizona to speak with and listen to people from all walks of life about what’s really important to them in their state government, and how we can address our priorities successfully,” Hallman said. “At that time, I will make a final decision about pursuing elected office. I have one particular elected office very clearly in mind — the office of governor of Arizona.”

If he runs and gains the R nomination next year, he could suffer the embarrassment of losing Tempe, his hometown, in the general election.  As mayor of Tempe, he kept a lid on the anti-constituent craziness that permeates internal Republican politics these days, but to get through the Republican primary, he'll need to cut loose with the nihilist rhetoric of the Rs' social and fiscal agendas.

That will cost him votes in Tempe. 

Lots of votes.

Sunnucks' piece went on to list a few other rumored candidates -

On the Democratic side:  Dr. Richard Carmona, former US Surgeon General and 2012 Democratic nominee for US Senate; Fred Duval, businessman, author, and former President of the Arizona Board of Regents; and Greg Stanton, mayor of Phoenix.

On the Republican side:  State Treasurer Doug Ducey and AZ Secretary of State Ken Bennett.

Possible additions/subtractions to that list:

Greg Stanton has stated that he is not running for governor in 2014 (that doesn't mean he won't change his mind at some point, but 2014 really might be too early for him to go for the governor's job.)

State Representative Chad Campbell, the Democratic leader in the AZ House, is also eyeing a run.  Like the others mentioned here, he may end up not running for governor (right now, they're all "pondering"), but he is probably more likely to run than Carmona is, at this point.

Felecia Rotellini, the impressive Democratic nominee for AZ Attorney General in 2010, is being talked up as a potential candidate.  I think that she is more likely to mount another run at AG, but it's still early - anything could happen.

Scott Smith, the Republican mayor of Mesa.  Has had success during his administration (Mesa is no longer the political, social, economic, intellectual, and cultural laughingstock of Arizona) and is young enough (mid to late 50s) that he could wait until 2018.  On the other hand, the wheels could fall off in Mesa at any time (or, more likely, the Arizona legislature could slash Mesa's tires at any time), so he may be best served by running in 2014.

Steve Pierce, former president of the AZ state senate (he won reelection to the Senate, but lost the R caucus vote for a return to the senate presidency) and rancher in Yavapai County, is rumored to be eyeing the race, but a candidate who isn't from Maricopa or Pima counties has an uphill path.  Add in the fact that while former legislators *have* made it to the 9th Floor (Jan Brewer, Jane Hull), they didn't get there directly, going through other offices first, and he may be least likely to run of anyone mentioned in this post.

Gary Pierce (no relation to Steve), member and former chair of the Arizona Corporation Commission, is also rumored to be interested in the governor's office.  Those rumors received a boost when fellow R Bob Stump was elected as chair of the ACC, presumably to allow Gary Pierce the time to explore a run.

In other 2014 news, maybe we should rename the office of the Arizona Attorney General as the office of Arizona Eternal Optimist:

Tom Horne has formed a reelection committee.

Good God, this is going to be fun.  :)

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