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Head of Arizona Commerce Authority to step down

Don Cardon, left, outgoing President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority, speaks as Gov. Jan Brewer, second from left, Chairman of the Arizona Commerce Authority, Jerry Colangelo, co-Chair of the Arizona Commerce Authority, and Arizona Speaker of the House Andy Tobin, far right, R-Dewey, listen during an Arizona Commerce Authority meeting Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona’s top economic development official is stepping down.

Don Cardon announced Wednesday that he will step down as Arizona Commerce Authority president later this year after a transition period.

Cardon was director of the state Commerce Department last year when it was reorganized as the quasi-private authority.

That change was made under an economic development redesign approved by Gov. Jan Brewer and the Legislature.

Cardon says he’ll be returning to his personal business activities.

Brewer says a nationwide search will be conducted to find a replacement.

In another development, authority Co-Chairman Jerry Colangelo announced that the authority’s private fundraising arm has obtained corporate commitments for nearly $1 million for a three-year period.

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