by Dan Gibson
While the remainder of the Republican candidates for governor have not responded to requests for comment on SB 1062, former Mesa mayor Scott Smith released a statement today that seems to signify that he opposes the bill, although in classic "I'm running for an office" style, he doesn't exactly say as much:
As a Christian conservative, I am very troubled that religious rights are being trampled as part of the current debate on changes in our society. But, I am also a member of a church that has experienced severe persecution because of its beliefs. I firmly believe that discrimination or bigotry in any form is unacceptable. I am concerned that SB1062 carries the real potential for unintended legal consequences that could negatively impact our most basic rights, including the freedom of religion. This bill also could have a detrimental impact on Arizona's business environment at a time when our economy is still fragile. Our state must keep focused on creating jobs and building a strong future for our children.
Not super surprising, but Democratic candidate Fred DuVal is more outspoken on the matter:
If I were governor, I wouldn’t have waited for this bill to get to my desk. I would have stopped it before it passed. I would have made it very clear to the legislature that they shouldn’t bother sending me this legislation. This bill won’t solve any of the problems facing Arizona families; it won’t create jobs or improve education. In fact, it will be a job killer. It’s going to hurt our businesses and hurt our state’s reputation across the country — it’s just plain wrong.
I urge Governor Brewer to consider the opinions of Arizonans such as Senator John McCain, who has said he wouldn’t support SB 1062, and organizations such as the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, which called this bill ‘anti-business.’”
Now is the time for the Republican candidates for Governor — Doug Ducey, Ken Bennett, and Christine Jones — to show some spine: Will they stand up against legalized discrimination or bow down to Cathi Herrod? Anyone who wants to lead the State of Arizona, ought to speak clearly and honestly about where they stand on legalized discrimination. November is coming.
UPDATE: Christine Jones released a statement supporting the bill in theory, but not its timing, stating that it should be "withdrawn." Ken Bennett also opposes the bill, calling it "divisive."
Doug Ducey, who counts Cathi Herrod among his advisors, won't comment yet, according to Brahm Resnick, since he hasn't read the bill. Cap'n Al Melvin, who is still exploring a run last we checked, voted for the bill.