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Az Supreme Court Justice Gould retiring, poised to run for state Attorney General

Andrew Gould, a justice on the Arizona Supreme Court, announced Friday that he will retire April 1, after four years on the state's top bench. Political sources have indicated that Gould will run for attorney general in 2022. Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich is term limited out of that office after being elected twice, meaning there will be an open seat.

Gould was appointed to the Arizona high court in November 2016, after Gov. Doug Ducey successfully expanded the court from five to seven seats in order to appoint more conservative justices. The state's code of conduct for judges bars them from seeking elected political office while remaining on the bench.

Gould has not yet publicly confirmed that he'll seek to become the state's top elected lawyer.

The name of the incumbent, Brnovich, is being floated as a contender for governor. Ducey is also term limited — with him being mentioned as a likely U.S. Senate candidate, although Ducey has said repeatedly that his "is not running," carefully framing his remarks in the present tense. Prior to serving on the state Supreme Court, Gould was an appeals court judge in Division One for five years, and the presiding judge of the Yuma County Superior Court before that. Before taking the bench, he was a prosecutor in Yuma and Maricopa counties.

The Commission on Appellate Court Appointments will recommend nominees for the vacancy on the Supreme Court to Ducey, who will appoint the new justice.

The Republican governor has already appointed five justices to the state court, the most of any governor in Arizona history. Gould's stepping down will provide Ducey with yet another opportunity to shape the bench.

Gould's retirement will be effective April 1, he announced.

Gould "has remained committed to law and order throughout his career, working to ensure justice for victims and upholding the Constitution," said Ducey in a news release Friday. "Gould’s integrity, wide range of professional experience, and commitment to helping Arizonans made him an excellent fit for the Arizona Supreme Court. He served our state well, and I am grateful for his nearly five years on the Arizona Supreme Court as well as his more than 20 years of service to the State of Arizona."

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Arizona Supreme Court

Justice Andrew Gould