Republicans just got a fifth choice for governor.
Steve Gaynor, who lost a race for secretary of state four years ago to Katie Hobbs, announced Friday he is now going after the top slot on the ballot.
In a prepared statement, Gaynor is seeking to position himself as an outsider who can deal with the problems of securing the border, election integrity, water shortage, public education and critical race theory, “all intensified by a virus from China.”
“Career politicians and political insiders have gotten us into this, but they can’t get us out,” he said, a salvo likely aimed at state Treasurer Kimberly Yee and former Congressman Matt Salmon, who already are in the race.
Gaynor, a Paradise Valley business owner, gained attention four years ago when he defeated incumbent Secretary of State Michele Reagan in the Republican primary. But he narrowly lost the general election to Democrat Katie Hobbs.
His statement had an answer for that. Gaynor claimed that financier George Soros and his “buddies” put $4 million into Hobbs’ campaign. And he claims that all was a part of a plan to defeat Donald Trump in 2020.
“As a (Republican) Party, we failed to deal with the threat and now we are paying the price,” he said. “We can’t let that happen again.”
Gaynor did not return messages seeking comment.
In running for secretary of state, Gaynor caused a bit of a stir with comments that ballots should be printed only in English.
He conceded that would require overturning a key portion of the federal Voting Rights Act which requires counties and cities to provide election materials in other languages when there are significant numbers of voters for whom English is not their first language. Hobbs said that Gaynor was seeking ways to suppress minority voting.
Also in the hunt for the GOP nomination is former TV anchor Kari Lake and Karrin Taylor Robson, a member of the Arizona Board of Regents.
Democratic contenders include Hobbs as well as Marco Lopez, a former Nogales mayor. Incumbent Republican Doug Ducey is constitutionally precluded from seeking a third term.