The state Republican Party chairman called Sept. 2 for a special prosecutor to investigate whether Attorney General Terry Goddard and a House Democratic leader violated the state’s resign-to-run law.
Randy Pullen called a news conference to press his claim Goddard should have resigned before or immediately after he told a group of Democrats that he intends to run for governor. He said Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, violated the resign-to-run law by saying in a Facebook post last year that she is running for state Senate.
“Obviously they don’t have intentions of following the laws,” Pullen said.
Sinema and a spokeswoman for Goddard dismissed Pullen’s complaint as a political stunt.
Arizona’s resign-to-run law, created by a ballot initiative, forbids anyone holding a paid elected office from declaring candidacy for a local, state or federal office except during the final year of his or her term. According to the statute, filing nomination papers or making a formal announcement constitute a declaration.
Pullen said Goddard violated the law by telling a May meeting of a Maricopa County Democratic group that he intends to run for governor. He quoted Goddard as saying, “Since you were kind enough to ask, I intend to run for governor.”
In interviews at the time, Goddard acknowledged making the statement but said it didn’t constitute a formal declaration.
Anne Hilby, a spokeswoman for the Attorney General’s Office, called Pullen’s complaint a “frivolous political stunt” but said it would receive the same consideration as any other.
Pullen said Sinema, the House assistant minority leader, violated the law in a December 2008 Facebook post that said, “I’m running for State Senate in 2010 and would love to have your support.”
In an interview, Sinema said that the post was supposed to say she intended to run and that she corrected the error.
“I think Mr. Pullen doesn’t understand the law,” she said, adding that she considers the complaint an attempt to draw attention away from Republicans’ inability to finalize a state budget.
But Pullen said an investigation by someone other than Goddard is more than justified.
“In my mind, I think it’s very clear that they stepped over the line, both of them,” he said.