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Bennett files exploratory committee for governor

Sec. of State Ken Bennett (Photo by Josh Coddington/Arizona Capitol Times)

Sec. of State Ken Bennett (Photo by Josh Coddington/Arizona Capitol Times)

It may be nearly 40 months away, but the Republican primary contest for governor in 2014 has officially begun. On Wednesday, Secretary of State Ken Bennett formally filed the paperwork to create an exploratory committee for governor.

Bennett’s interest in becoming governor after Jan Brewer’s term ends has been widely assumed, though this is the first public signal that he is seriously considering seeking the Republican nomination for the seat.

In an interview with Arizona Capitol Times today, he said people regularly ask him about his political ambitions.

“We just wanted to get it on the record that we’re exploring the idea. Now, when people ask us about it, I can say that I am looking at it,” he said.

Bennett said his top priority will be positioning Arizona to capture some of the businesses leaving California because of that state’s regulations and taxes.

“The first part of my agenda is the economy, the second is the economy and the third is the economy,” he said. “We need to be getting 25 percent or 35 percent of companies that are leaving California. We’re getting one-third of a percent right now.”

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