House minority leader Chad Campbell won’t run for governor in 2014, clearing the field for Fred DuVal in the Democratic primary.
Campbell, D-Phoenix, announced the decision on his Facebook page on Tuesday. The four-term lawmaker said he would be in a “strong position” if he ran, but that he had to consider things other than political factors when making his decision.
“I need to focus on my family and other new business opportunities that will allow me to improve communities not only in Arizona, but also across the nation,” Campbell wrote on his Facebook page.
Campbell is termed out of the House next year. He said he won’t run for anything in 2014, but wouldn’t rule out future runs for other offices. He said he has some business opportunities that he’s working on, which he said would make him a stronger candidate in the future.
“By no means is this the end of my public service,” Campbell told the Arizona Capitol Times.
The decision leaves former Fred DuVal, a former president of the Arizona Board of Regents and a longtime Democratic operative, as the only Democrat in the race. DuVal could benefit from having a clear path to the Democratic nomination, which would allow him to stockpile campaign cash while a GOP field of five or more candidates slugs it out for the Republican nomination.
DuVal spokesman Rodd McLeod said it’s always good to not have to worry about a primary.
“In any campaign, you want to maximize your strategic advantages and minimize your strategic disadvantages. So it’s obviously very helpful to not have to worry about spending money in a primary,” McLeod said.
On the Republican side, former GoDaddy executive Christine Jones, former Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman, Sen. Al Melvin and former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas have filed to run for governor while Secretary of State Ken Bennett and state Treasurer Doug Ducey have formed exploratory committees for the race. Mesa Mayor Scott Smith and Sen. Steve Pierce are considering gubernatorial runs as well.
McLeod praised Campbell’s work in the Legislature. He said Campbell “forcefully articulated” the role of the loyal opposition and was a strong leader of the House Democrats during the battle for Medicaid expansion during the 2013 legislative session.
“He’s articulated, I think, really thoughtful and articulate alternative plans to what we’ve seen suggested by the Republican leadership. And I think in so doing he’s done a great service to the state,” McLeod said.