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State Capitol News

Two Republican Gubernatorial Candidates Face Public Funding Woes

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Capitol Media Services file photo by Howard Fischer
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Candidates for the Republican gubernatorial primary race are facing funding challenges. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer reports.

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State Sen. Al Melvin said he is having trouble gathering the necessary $5 donations that would qualify him for three-quarters of a million dollars in public funding for his statewide primary. He needs $4,500. Melvin won’t say how many he has in hand. But, he said it’s proving far more difficult to get them than the nearly 7,900 signatures he gathered on his nominating papers to qualify for the ballot.

“We’ve been to gun shows and so many different events. And you ask people for their signature and they say, ‘Oh, yeah, I can do that.’ And then you ask them for $5 and you would think you were asking for $5,000,” Melvin said.

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Credit Capitol Media Services file photo by Howard Fischer
State Sen. Al Melvin

It’s not impossible. Secretary of State Ken Bennett, also seeking the Republican gubernatorial nod, turned in his donations and already got a check. But, at this point, at least among statewide candidates, he’s the only one.

Also having problems is former Maricopa County Attorney and GOP gubernatorial hopeful Andrew Thomas. He was just informed that, after his donations were verified, he came up 113 short. But, state law gives Thomas one more shot to reach the goal and get his own check. Time is running out to get the funding to influence voters. While the primary is Aug. 26, early voting starts on July 31.

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