Changes in Arizona’s Resign-to-Run Law Spark Gubernatorial Announcements

Recent changes to Arizona’s “resign-to-run” law mean current officeholders can now speak publicly about running for another office without having to use wiggle words, and Secretary of State Ken Bennett has taken advantage of the revisions that went into effect last week to say he will be a Republican candidate for governor next year.
September 20, 2013
 

Recent changes to Arizona’s “resign-to-run” law mean current officeholders can now speak publicly about running for another office without having to use wiggle words, and Secretary of State Ken Bennett has taken advantage of the revisions that went into effect last week to say he will be a Republican candidate for governor next year.

Bennett’s comments set off a flurry of social media traffic Thursday when a small eastern Arizona newspaper reported them and added that Bennett would resign when he files official paperwork next year.

Spokesman Matt Roberts shot down that part of the report, saying Bennett plans to serve out his term, which ends two months after the gubernatorial election in November 2014.

The Eastern Arizona Courier reported that Bennett spoke at a Constitution Day event in Thatcher on Tuesday.

Bennett hasn’t formally announced a run, but he’s in, Roberts said.

“He said he intends to be, and will be, a candidate in next year’s gubernatorial election,” Roberts said.

The changes to the resign-to-run law, which was approved by voters in 1980, were passed by the Legislature this year. They were designed to lift restrictions that required candidates to dance around their intentions, even when it was obvious they intended to run for a different office. The rules required officeholders to resign if they formally announced candidacy or filed paperwork for another office but weren’t in the final year of their current term.

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