For those with high aspirations, the quickest route to the Ninth Floor governor’s office can be this off-the-radar-screen short cut
State Rep. Justin Pierce, 38, joins the increasing number of Republicans who have, or are about to, throw their hats into the Secretary of State’s ring. Pierce was appointed in 2011 to the District 25 legislative seat to replace Kirk Adams, who stepped down only to see his congressional campaign fizzle.
The employment lawyer is the son of Arizona Corporation Commission member Gary Pierce, who also previously served in the AZ House of Representatives.
Already in the Republican primary race for Secretary of State is businessman and former U.S. Senate candidate Wil Cardon. LD 23 State Sen. Michele Reagan, has opened an exploratory committee and though not an official candidate has already taken to boorishly slamming others who have made the commitment to run — providing insight into the type of campaign in which she’s prone to engage.
Arizona has no Lieutenant Governor post. The state’s line of succession to the Governor’s office is via the Secretary of State’s office, which has proven a sure pathway to Arizona’s Governorship for a number of politicos.
A bit of Arizona history: A third of the way through his full term, Gov. Raul Castro abruptly left to become ambassador to Argentina, a post offered to him by President Jimmy Carter. Secretary of State Wesley Bolin took the reins in 1977, but served only five months before succumbing to a fatal heart attack. His untimely death paved the way for Attorney General Bruce Babbitt, the next in line of succession, since then-Secretary of State Rose Mofford was appointed and not holding the office by election, as required by the Arizona Constitution. Mofford later ran and was elected, putting her in position to succeed Gov. Evan Mecham. He was sworn in as governor in January 1987 and was impeached in April 1988. Gov. Rose Mofford chose not to run for a full term. Fife Symington was elected governor in 1991 and stepped down amid allegations of wrongdoing in September 1997. That paved the way to the governor’s office for then-Secretary of State Jane Dee Hull, who later ran for a single full term.
Current Gov. Jan Brewer was Secretary of State when Janet Napolitano left the top office to join the Obama regime.
Git yer popcorn, folks! The show is about to begin.