Ken Bennett is finished running for political office. With a failed 2014 bid for governor followed by a 2016 congressional loss under his belt, the former secretary of state and state senator — not up for anymore campaigns — now wants to be appointed.
The lethargic guitar-strumming former Prescott resident has bounced around the state in recent years as he’s sought various political posts. The closest he’s come has been as chairman of Republican Legislative District 24 in Phoenix — which he resigned in short order.
In the interim he’s worked as a lobbyist for the state court system followed by a stint with SDB Contracting Services — but it’s the now out-of-reach political arena he still craves.
So how best to achieve his goal? Bennett deserves an “A” for inventiveness. He’s been busying himself calling members of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, promoting himself as the answer to an unasked question.
In the unlikely event the supervisors separate the Maricopa County Elections Department from the Recorder’s Office he wants them to know he’d be interested in being appointed elections director.
Bennett is quoted as saying, “I would want to be the director of that (Elections) department and have the independence and report directly to the Board of Supervisors.”
This all became an issue when longtime Recorder Helen Purcell, a Republican who has held the office nearly 30 years, lost the election in November..
In what turned out to be a monumental miscalculation, fewer polling places were made available for the March presidential preference election. Purcell said low turnout in previous elections played a part in the decision to reduce polling sites. Donald Trump’s arrival on the political scene dramatically changed that dynamic. Voters who stood in line for several hours waiting to cast their ballots during that election vented their fury in the November election. Purcell squeaked through the Primary by less than 1 percentage point, but was replaced in the General by political newcomer, Adrian Fontes, a Democrat.