by Jim Nintzel
If there’s one safe prediction about this year’s race for governor (besides the absence of action star Steven Seagal as a candidate), it’s that more money will be spent than any previous contest.
We got a hint of that this week, as Arizona Treasurer Doug Ducey released a peek at his numbers: Ducey, who is considered by many of our sources to be the likely winner of August's crowded Republican primary next August, had raised more than a million bucks by the end of 2013 and still had $923,000 in the bank as 2014 began.
Team Ducey highlighted that the majority of those dollars were raised before the contribution limits were raised from $912 per individual to $4,000 per individual, so he can hit up many of those contributors for more money this year.
Ducey’s most viable GOP opponent, Secretary of State Ken Bennett, is running as a Clean Elections candidate, meaning he’ll have just $753,616 in public funds for his primary campaign provided he qualifies for the program.
Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, another possible top-tier candidate in the race, is expected to soon announce whether he’s in the race.
Other candidates include attorney Christine Jones, the former general counsel for GoDaddy.com who is making her political debut; state Sen. Al Melvin of SaddleBrooke; and Andrew Thomas, the former Maricopa County attorney who was disbarred for his flimsy prosecutions of his political enemies.
One day after Ducey unveiled his fundraising numbers, Democrat Fred DuVal’s team took to the Twitter to reveal that he’d already raised more than $800,000 from 2,000 separate donors. Team DuVal made a point of emphasizing that the Democrat does not have to worry about spending any of that money in a primary race.