Arizona Official Who Dabbled With Birtherism Launches Run For Governor

AP

The Arizona election official who once apologized for embarrassing the state because of his flirtation with birtherism announced Tuesday he’d be running for governor.

Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett (R) jumped into the race for governor after more than a year of exploring the run.

Bennett, the state’s top election official, made national headlines in May 2012 when he said he would consider keeping President Obama off the ballot unless the President proved he was a natural born citizen of the United States. The move came after birther conspiracy theorists had approached him alleging without any legitimate evidence that Obama’s birth certificate was a fraud.

Bennett eventually backed off his stance, adding: “If I embarrassed the state, I apologize, but that certainly wasn’t my intent.”

Needless to say, the incident was not included in Bennett’s announcement Tuesday that he hoped to succeed Gov. Jan Brewer (R) who is leaving office because she is term limited.

He will be facing former GoDaddy executive Christine Jones, who is also running for governor in the Republican primary, and is expected to face several other opponents.

“I’m running for governor because I was raised to help people,” Bennett said in a statement. “I entered public service in 1985 because I wanted to actively take a role in making Arizona a better place to live and work.”

He rollout included three stops throughout the state, according to a news release: in Tucson, Phoenix, and Prescott.

This post has been updated. 

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