Republican Gubernatorial Primary Ramps Up With Cash Influx

Jul 1, 2014

A major auto dealer has become a prime force in trying to ensure that Doug Ducey is the Republican nominee for governor — and that Christine Jones is not. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer explains.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Ducey
Credit The Republic

New campaign finance reports show that Conservative Leadership for Arizona has spent more than $172,000 on commercials for Ducey — and another $34,000 in media attacking Jones. And the reports show more than half of that came from Tucson auto dealer Jim Click. Separately, a group called Veterans for a Strong America has been running TV ads linking Jones her to the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi that left the U.S. ambassador and three others dead. That is based on a blog post Jones made last year predicting that people will realize “what an effective Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was.” But, Joel Arends, the group’s chairman, said there is no need to detail its spending.

“Our ads do not call for the election nor defeat of any candidate. And that is an incredibly important distinction under the law,” he said.

All that outside spending could make the difference in a race where Ducey and Jones each have collected more than $2 million. But, the big difference is that virtually every dollar Jones has came from her own pocket. Meanwhile, Scott Smith has about a million dollars, with Ken Bennett and Andrew Thomas each qualifying for about $750,000 in public funds.