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Wide-open race for state treasurer’s job

Three current or former Arizona lawmakers, a former presidential adviser and a business executive are among the candidates in Tuesday’s primary election for state treasurer.

The only Democrat running for the job of Arizona’s chief financial officer is Andrei Cherny, a former assistant attorney general and adviser to former President Bill Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore.

Republican candidates include state Sens. Thayer Verschoor and Barbara Leff, former state Rep. Ted Carpenter and political newcomer Doug Ducey, who’s the former CEO of Cold Stone Creamery.

Ducey has been endorsed by current state Treasurer Dean Martin, who has held the office since 2006. Martin, a former Republican state senator, ran for the GOP gubernatorial nomination this year but dropped out of the race in July.

Two others are write-in candidates — Thane Eichenauer (Libertarian) and Thomas Meadows (Green Party).

The treasurer is responsible for holding, investing and disbursing state money — overseeing Arizona’s revenues and expenses and managing the state’s nearly $10 billion investment portfolio. The portfolio includes the state’s permanent endowment fund, which generates revenue for public schools, the universities and other beneficiaries.

Leff has served in the Legislature for 14 years and said she understands the proper role of the treasurer and has experience dealing with Arizona’s budget.

Ducey, who is chief investor and chairman of a company that digitalizes home movies, said he can generate jobs for the state with his insight into business and entrepreneurs.

Cherny describes the treasurer as Arizona’s chief economic officer and has elaborate economic development plans if elected.

Carpenter promises more transparency in the job while Verschoor would run the office like a watchdog conservative.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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