Those of us in the Capitol Times newsroom just spent nearly an hour discussing Fife Symington’s revelation to the Yellow Sheet that he is leaning toward a run for governor in 2010, and we can’t come to a consensus about whether he’s serious.
Some of us believe he sincerely wants to run, and that he eventually will. Others, though, aren’t so sure. After all, he said a few years back that he was planning to run against Janet Napolitano in the 2006 gubernatorial election, and then backed out a few months later saying he wanted to concentrate on running his consulting business, The Symington Group.
It’s notable that he’s got more baggage than any of the other Republicans who have considered a campaign. He was convicted of bank fraud in 1997 and had to resign as governor because state law doesn’t allow felons to hold state office. Two years later, his conviction was overturned by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and he was later pardoned by his old pal Bill Clinton.
At the same time, he might have more name recognition than most of the other potential candidates. He was governor for more than six years, starting in 1991. He has a large band of loyal supporters in GOP ranks. He should have no problem raising enough money to sustain a bid. And his family has a deep background in politics.
Yet many of his former cohorts are now in Gov. Brewer’s camp, so which way would they gravitate if both decide to run? It’s anyone’s guess at this point, but it would create a dilemma for at least a few top-level politicos.
It all makes me wonder if there’s more to this story; for instance, is Symington’s announcement a ploy to get Brewer to bow out? And, if so, is Symington really the most viable GOP candidate? I’ve been trying to figure out who benefits most from a Brewer withdrawal.
Lastly, Symington won a narrow victory over Democrat Terry Goddard in his first bid for governor in 1990. If he runs again next year and if he wins the primary, Arizonans likely will be in store for a very interesting race that certainly would conjure bits of state history.
For the full interview with Symington and more details, go to http://www.yellowsheetreport.com/home.htm/page/newsArticle.newsArticle&articleID=7260