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Johnson rethinking run for governor

Former state lawmaker Karen Johnson said an accident in her family has led her to reconsider plans to run for governor in 2010.

The reversal came about two weeks after Johnson, a Mesa Republican, had filed the necessary paperwork to form a committee to explore a campaign for governor.

Johnson, who retired from the Legislature last year, said her husband Jerry was in a car accident two weeks ago while returning to Show Low from Mesa. She said Jerry was traveling about 35 miles south of Payson when he blacked out and drove off the road. Jerry is at home recuperating, but the truck he was driving was totaled, she said.

"We may have to re-look at this because I was talking with him at length last night and he just said ‘I just don't want you gone,'" she said.

Johnson said she will be talking to supporters on April 30 about whether she intends to pursue a campaign.

Johnson said she was prompted to explore a run by what she views a frightening encroachment on states' rights by the federal government. Federal action such as the Real ID Act, environmental mandates and the CANAMEX corridor should be of grave concern to all Arizonans and Americans, Johnson said.

At the state level, Johnson said it worries her that no audit has ever been conducted on the Arizona-Mexico Commission. She said she would like more information on how much money from Arizona the commission is putting into Mexico, and what that money is being used for.

During the 2008 session, Johnson successfully pushed for legislation prohibiting Arizona from implementing the Real ID Act. And she was a key supporter that same year for the passage of a measure that sought to give voters a chance to ban gay marriage by amending the state Constitution. The measure passed a few months later.

Johnson said it wouldn't bother her to face Gov. Jan Brewer, an incumbent Republican governor, in the GOP primary in 2010.

"We are, hour by hour, losing our freedoms and liberties in this country and in this state. And I think that we need our elected officials or people that are running for office to be talking about these things. We'll see. If Jan starts talking about this, that would be great," she said.

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