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Brewer makes it official

Ending months of speculation, Gov. Jan Brewer officially filed to run for governor in 2010.

Brewer’s representatives filed paperwork for a candidate committee with the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office on Nov. 5, and she is expected to publicly announce her candidacy later in the evening at an awards dinner in Glendale.

The governor intends to run as a publicly funded candidate, according to Doug Cole of the consulting firm HighGround, which is running her campaign. The statement of organization filed with the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office lists her as not participating in the Clean Elections system because she first must qualify for matching funds with the Citizens Clean Elections Commission, Cole said. CCEC rules state that to become a publicly funded candidate, you must first file as a non-participating candidate.

A fundraising email sent out Nov. 5 by Brewer advisor Chuck Coughlin, also of HighGround, asks for $140 contributions, saying the campaign is hoping to get the maximum 366 contributions needed for the campaign’s seed money within a few days.

The campaign committee is being co-chaired by former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods and former U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters, who had been rumored to be considering a run for the Ninth Floor as well.

Brewer is scheduled to speak Thursday night at Westmarc’s 17th annual Best of the West awards dinner, and will make her public announcement at the event at Glendale’s Renaissance Hotel and Spa.

Brewer’s candidacy has been the biggest unanswered question of the 2010 election cycle. The governor has frequently said she is “leaning toward” running, but has declined to say definitively whether she would seek a full term or shy away from the election due to low polling numbers and fierce opposition from conservatives to her proposed sales tax increase.

Several Republicans have expressed a willingness to challenge Brewer in the primary, including state Treasurer Dean Martin, former Arizona GOP Chairman John Munger and Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker. Munger and Parker told the Arizona Capitol Times that they still intend to challenge her in the primaries, and Martin said his decision would not be affected by whether Brewer got into the race.

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