Al Melvin to run for governor
Arizona hasn't had a governor from south of the Gila since Raul Castro in the mid-1970s. Three-term Republican Sen. Al Melvin of Saddlebrooke thinks he can change that, although the GOP primary field is already crowded.
"We have been blessed with some hard-working reform-minded legislatures during my time here, but we have failed to make the kind of progress that the people of Arizona deserve because too many elected officials are content to think small and act small," Melvin said in a news release.
The nuclear-power supporter — who's favored a tax credit for the film industry along with tax cuts and calls for a nuclear waste dump near Tucson — announced Monday that he's established an exploratory committee with an eye on the governor's office.
The race for the Republican gubernatorial nod is already crowded; Secretary of State Ken Bennett already has an exploratory committee, as does Tempe Mayor High Hallman. Former U.S. Senate aspirant Wil Cardon is also mulling a run, and Gov. Jan Brewer has signaled that she may attempt to run yet again, despite an apparent term limit in the state Constitution.
On the Democratic side, Phoenix businessman Fred DuVal, a former member of the Board of Regents, has touted his Tucson roots as he seeks his party's nomination. The former Clinton White House aide is a graduate of Tucson High School.
Melvin can't yet declare for the 2014 race because of Arizona's resign-to-run laws, which prohibit officeholders from campaigning for a different seat outside of the final year of their term.
A former captain in the U.S. Navy Reserves, he commanded a squadron of ships based at the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia. Melvin lost his first election, in 2006, but was elected to the state Senate in 2008, '10 and '12.
"Arizona is capable of real greatness if we elect leaders who are willing to be bold, even if it comes with political risk or at a political cost. We need to offer real reform, real proposals to create growth on a massive scale, an impassioned defense of our state’s rights in the face of an ever encroaching federal government, and education reform that finally and firmly shifts the power away from bureaucracies and into the hands of parents where it belongs," Melvin said in the release announcing his exploratory committee.
Melvin has proposed giving each student a $9,000 voucher to be spent at any public or private school. He has also favored limits on jury awards in civil trials, in addition to his controversial support for building a nuclear waste dump in Southern Arizona.