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Thomas AG declaration

The biggest question surrounding resign-to-run this year is what would happen in the event that Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas officially declares his candidacy by filing nominating petitions for attorney general.

As a county elected official, Thomas is on a different election cycle than others (he was reelected to a four-year term in 2008). Upon filing, Thomas would effectively resign from his current job, and the Board of Supervisors would appoint his successor to serve until the next general election. But the tricky part is that the outcome will largely depend on when Thomas files, assuming he does.

Any candidate for county attorney (and other statewide and legislative offices) would have to file nominating signatures by May 26. One problem is that nominating petitions require candidates to advise the date of their upcoming election, said Maricopa County Elections Director Karen Osborne. And the longer Thomas waits to file, the longer candidates remain in limbo. Assuming Thomas waits until the last minute – and no candidates for his current job are able to amass enough petitions to reach the deadlines themselves – the distinct possibility of having a write-in county attorney candidate emerges, she said. But without a write-in candidate, the board would be responsible for again appointing a county attorney next January who would serve until the next regularly scheduled county attorney race in 2012, she said.

To read more on this item plus all the stories in the Jan. 4 Yellow Sheet Report, go to www.yellowsheetreport.com (Yellow Sheet Subscription Required).

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