Tom Horne's Nemesis Mark Brnovich Files Nearly Twice the Number of AG's Signatures
Standing in the lobby of the Arizona Secretary of State's Office, having just dropped off more than 14,500 signatures to place his name on the ballot for Attorney General, former Arizona gaming director Mark Brnovich exuded the kind of confidence you'd expect from a candidate facing a primary opponent mired in scandal.
"Tom Horne will not be the nominee," Brnovich told reporters Wednesday afternoon. "So if he really cared about the Republican brand, if he really cared about the party, if he really cared about Arizona, he would do the right thing and agree not to run for re-election."
I won't turn blue waiting for that one. They'll have to drag Horne out of the AG's office in his chair, with him white-knuckling the latest version of his "Border Patrol" donors list.
Still, Brnovich seemed genuinely jazzed about his numbers.
Brnovich, chatting up the press after filing his signatures at the SOS
"We've got great grassroots support, and this is just an indication of it," he enthused.
He then borrowed a line from Muhammad Ali, circa 50 years ago, the first time Ali whipped Sonny Liston, while Ali was still known as Cassius Clay.
"We're going to shake up the world," he promised, a la Clay.
Indeed, Brnovich's 14,500-plus number was a little more than two and a-half times the amount of valid signatures needed to earn a spot on the ballot.
For what it's worth, his numbers blew Horne's away.
According to the Secretary of State, Horne recently submitted 7,819 signatures, a paltry figure for a statewide, incumbent office-holder.
The minimum number required for the Republican primary in a statewide race is 5,651.
But pols like to pad their numbers, because a lot of signatures are sure to be thrown out, and for bragging rights.
Democrat Felecia Rotellini, whom Horne bested in 2010 by a mere 60,000 votes, submitted 13,444 signatures on May 19, according to the SOS.
She needed 4,804, meaning she turned in a lot more than two and a-half times the minimum.
Asked later that day for a comment on Brnovich's filing, Rotellini's campaign manager Luis Heredia dissed Brnovich's achievement as mere AstroTurf.
"Brnovich hired paid circulators to inflate his weak position in this campaign," Heredia stated via e-mail. "We filed 13,500 signatures last Monday, ten days before the deadline, to focus on fundraising and grassroots organizing. We filed more petitions today in a supplemental filing."