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Grant for governor – as an independent?

Grant for governor – as an independent?

Republican Grant Woods, Democrat Fred DuVal

Republican Grant Woods, Democrat Fred DuVal

Even as 2010′s votes are being counted, Republican Grant Woods said he’s considering a possible 2014 gubernatorial run as an independent candidate.

The former state Attorney General and longtime adviser to U.S. Sen. John McCain, said he’s had conversations with Democratic operative Fred DuVal about Wood’s possible run for the state’s highest office.

And those talks included the possibility of DuVal running down-ticket as secretary of state, also as an independent candidate.

“Running with Fred would be a dream come true,” Woods told the Arizona Capitol Times of his Occidental (Calif.) College roommate. The two graduated from the Liberal Arts college in 1976. “That would be very exciting. Running as an independent would be exciting, as well.”

Woods was an adviser to McCain’s and Gov. Jan Brewer’s campaigns this election cycle – and he also made a controversial endorsement of Democratic attorney general candidate Felecia Rotellini, which drew the ire of the Maricopa County Republican Party.

Woods, an attorney and radio talk-show host, said he and Duval, who was the top aide during former Gov. Bruce Babbitt’s administrations and also served in the Clinton administration, have talked about their concern about Arizona’s future with the divisive nature of politics in the state, and that a remedy to that would be running as independents.

The talk of a Woods/Duval run apparently came up in at least one conversation with Wes Gullett, who was chatting up Woods about Gullett’s possible run for Phoenix mayor (Woods was once rumored to be on a short-list of big names to seek the Phoenix’s highest post, as well).

Woods said he doesn’t remember specifically whether the two discussed a gubernatorial/secretary of state run by Woods and DuVal.

As for now, Woods said he’s not changing his party affiliation and will be focused on helping McCain and Brewer in their respective terms.

As for the future: “I’m intrigued by the independent run by somebody, and I think there is a reasonable chance that the next governor in Arizona would be an independent. The timing would have to be right.”

Indeed, independents are gaining ground on the Democratic Party registration in the state, and Woods said he believes Dems will be surpassed within four years.

DuVal could not be reached for comment.

- Bill Bertolino

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