Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton filed papers Tuesday to run for Arizona secretary of state, a move designed to comply with a new state law but also a signal of the two-term mayor's ambition for higher office.
Stanton's filing will also accelerate jockeying to succeed him as mayor. Stanton's second term ends in 2019. If he runs for statewide office, he would have to resign by June 2018.
Stanton issued this statement Tuesday:
In the coming months, I will take a serious look at future opportunities to continue to serve the people of Arizona. My top priority is serving the people of Phoenix. Being mayor of this great city is my dream job and I am excited to expand on our city’s recent successes creating jobs with an innovation-based economy, modernizing and expanding our transportation system and protecting the civil rights of the people of Phoenix.
I am only thinking about one election today and that is the one millions of Arizonans are voting in right now. Arizona is a true battleground state and we are on the verge of making history, electing fresh leaders with inspiring ideas and defeating some of our state’s long time embarrassments.
Stanton, a Democrat, served on the Phoenix City Council and in the attorney general's office before running for mayor.
Secretary of State Michele Reagan, a Republican, filed paperwork last month to run for a second term in 2018.
Stanton made the filing to comply with a new state law that created a deadline for municipal elected officials to transfer money from their existing campaign accounts into accounts for state office, according to a Stanton spokesman.
Stanton's mayoral campaign committee had $522,000 in cash on hand at the end of August.
Despite the filing, Stanton isn't committing to run for secretary of state. He could use the money to pursue another statewide office, such as governor or superintendent of public instruction.