The former Phoenix mayor and Arizona Attorney General, Terry Goddard, has no opponent in the Democratic primary, so he’ll face whoever wins the slugfest on the Republican side. His father served as governor and Goddard mounted two efforts to win the governor’s seat in his own right without success. But that has given him the experience that goes now into his fifth statewide campaign.
In one of his appearances in Rim Country, he stressed the need to increase voter participation —and give voters more information on who is financing campaigns.
“Dark money does get people excited — people are getting very upset,” said Goddard. “The devil’s in the details when it comes to disclosure laws. These groups all sound like motherhood and apple pie, but you need more than the name.”
Goddard criticized some of the election changes both
Pierce and Reagan have supported. “I was a little astonished when I looked at the bills,” said Goddard. “For instance, if a husband took his invalid wife’s ballot to the mailbox, he’d be breaking the law. It was statutory overreach. But the Legislature quickly ran back into its hole” by repealing the measures when the referendum qualified for the ballot.
He also criticized the Legislature’s increasing control of local elections. For instance, the Legislature this year has required school districts and cities to have local elections on the same day as the statewide party primaries. Backers of that change said it would prevent school districts and cities from scheduling purely local elections, which usually have much lower turnouts than general elections. However, local officials worry that many of the voters that turn out for things like the governor’s and President’s races won’t pay much attention to the local issues. Moreover, they’re worried that putting things like the Payson Unified School District’s budget override and Payson’s Home Rule measure on a primary ballot will unintentionally exclude Independent voters.
He concluded, “I want to get back to the moderate state I grew up in. The office most responsible for getting people to the polls is the secretary of state. So I couldn’t just sit on the sidelines. What we have now is a group of politicians trying to pick their voters — rather than the voters picking the politicians.”