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Gov. Brewer Endorses Scott Smith in Gubernatorial Race

Capitol Media Services file photo by Howard Fischer

With less than three weeks to go until the primary, Gov. Jan Brewer finally gave her endorsement this morning to the bid by Mesa Mayor Scott Smith to succeed her. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer was there.

Brewer said Smith supports the same things she does, like expanding the state’s Medicaid program and adopting the Common Core education standards. The governor acknowledged her move comes more than a week after early voting started — and less than three weeks before the Aug. 26 primary. But she brushed that aside.

“In politics, it’s all about the timing, isn’t it?” Brewer said.

Smith also downplayed the delay in the endorsement he and his supporters had sought now for weeks.

“I think those people who have voted early were decided and they either were coming my way or they weren’t. There’s still a large number of undecideds. I think this election is going to go down to election day. With six people running, there’s a lot of people who are still looking at those ballots, wondering which way they’re going to go,” Smith said.

If nothing else, Brewer’s endorsement should help him get out his message out: Smith said his campaign raised $50,000 in less than 24 hours after the first reports that Brewer would publicly back him got out.

New funds could prove crucial. The last campaign finance reports showed Smith had less than $900,000. That compares with $1.6 million raised by Doug Ducey and $2.3 million for Christine Jones, though most of that came out of her own pocket.

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