The governor's race just got a little more interesting. Governor Brewer has been such a disappointment to the GOP, stopping at nothing in order to ram through her tax increase referral, that we knew it was only a matter of time before other Republicans announced they were jumping into the race to challenge her in the primary. Since she was never elected to the position, she never had the support of the electorate and wouldn't be as difficult to beat as a traditional incumbent. There have also been rumors flying around that she is not going to run, realizing she has probably ruined her reputation as a fiscal conservative over the sales tax increase.
We started hearing rumblings that State Treasurer Dean Martin was going to run a few weeks ago. He would have a good chance at beating Brewer in a primary, having held firm to conservative principles. However, just yesterday the Republic announced that Paradise Valley mayor Vernon Parker is expected to enter the race in September. Parker, a charismatic African-American attorney whose credentials include serving as a Special Assistant in the Bush administration, would be the first African-American Republican governor ever if elected. Sources tell us he is running as the anti-Brewer tax increase candidate. He would bring the added advantage of presenting a formidable challenge in the general to Terry Goddard, who is all but certain to be the Democrat candidate for governor. Since Brewer has turned off a lot of the electorate, Vernon's cross-over appeal to Democrats would be a huge asset.