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Lujan decides to run clean, refunds donations

Rep. David Lujan refunded thousands of dollars in donations to his exploratory committee after deciding that he will run for attorney general under the clean elections system.

A campaign finance report submitted to the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office on Dec. 30 showed that the House minority leader refunded nearly $32,000 in donations to his exploratory committee. The refunds included individual contributions over $140 and all PAC money, as required by Arizona’s clean elections laws.

Lujan said he decided to run clean because it would free him up to spend more time campaigning, rather than soliciting donations at fundraisers and over the phone.

“That way I don’t have to spend as much time holding fundraisers and calling people to raise money. This allows me to go out and meet voters and listen to their thoughts and concerns about what they want to see in our next attorney general,” the Phoenix Democrat said.

Clean candidates for attorney general receive $183,311 for the primary and $274,697 for the general election. Lujan had raised about $50,000 before refunding much of the money, according to his campaign finance report.

Other attorney general candidates have not yet filed their initial campaign finance reports, which are due by Jan. 31. A source close to the campaign of rival Democratic candidate Felecia Rotellini said she had raised more than $100,000 since announcing her candidacy in September.

“I think we were certainly on pace for that,” Lujan said of Rotellini’s early fundraising total. “We actually had decided over a month ago to go clean, for the most part, so we pretty much slowed down fundraising efforts in the last month.”

Lujan said he would likely make his candidacy official in the second week of January. He was prohibited from doing so before January by Arizona’s resign-to-run law.

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