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Former GoDaddy exec Jones is running for governor

(Photo from Christine Jones twitter profile)

(Photo from Christine Jones twitter profile)

Christine Jones, a former executive with the web hosting company GoDaddy, is seeking the Republican nomination for governor.

Jones, who resigned as GoDaddy’s general counsel and executive vice president last year, filed paperwork with the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office on Friday to run for governor. Jones is already putting a campaign team together and plans to hire Brian Seitchik, a GOP campaign operative who has worked in California, Florida and Ohio, to manage her race.

“I took a fair amount of time to carefully consider whether to do this. And having traveled the state and talked to people from all four of the corners, it’s clear to me that Arizona can use the type of leadership that I hope to offer,” Jones said.

During her decade-long tenure with GoDaddy, Jones testified numerous times before Congress on a wide range of issues, including intellectual property, online exploitation of children, online pharmacies, the international governance of the Internet, Chinese Internet censorship and the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act, which GoDaddy originally supported but later opposed. In January, she founded the Arizona Research Project, a nonprofit established to “identify issues of importance to voters” so they can engage their legislators and help shape policy.

Sen. Steve Pierce, R-Prescott, may jump into the race as well. Much of the talk around the Capitol about Pierce running for governor dried up after he lost the Senate presidency to Sen. Andy Biggs after the November election. But Gordon James, a Republican public relations consultant and friend of the Prescott rancher, said Pierce is still considering a run for the Ninth Floor.

“He’s considering it. But it’s a long ways away from decision time,” James said.

Jones, who is largely unknown in political circles, would enter a Republican primary filled with elected officials. Secretary of State Ken Bennett, state Treasurer Doug Ducey and Sen. Al Melvin have all filed exploratory committees for the governor’s race. Former Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman and former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas have filed as candidates, and Mesa Mayor Scott Smith is considering a run.

On the Democratic side, former Board of Regents president and longtime Democratic politico Fred DuVal is running, and Rep. Chad Campbell, the House minority leader, is also contemplating a run for governor.

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