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Line already forming for next gubernatorial race

Democrat Fred DuVal added a fifth name to the list of candidates exploring a run for the Arizona governor's seat in 2014 with an announcement Saturday at a meet and greet event at 5th Street Books.

The Arizona Secretary of State's Office lists three people who have already pulled papers for exploratory campaigns for the seat: current Republican Secretary of State Ken Bennett, Democrat Ronald Cavanaugh and Independent Diana Ramseys-Rasmussen-Kennedy.

Gov. Jan Brewer is also likely to seek another term in office, but state term limits may prevent her from doing so.

Bennett was appointed as Arizona Secretary of State in 2009 after Brewer left the office to take the governor's seat. Bennett was elected to a second term in 2010.

Cavanaugh, a retired drug rehabilitation counselor from Springerville, Ariz., attempted to run for governor as a Libertarian candidate in 2010.

Ramseys-Rasmussen-Kennedy is a newcomer to the race from Phoenix.

"I know it's early, but I believe I can run for governor and it will take every day of two years," DuVal said.

DuVal is no stranger to politics. He served under former Arizona Gov. Bruce Babbitt and in the Clinton Administration. Gov. Janet Napolitano also tapped him to serve on the Arizona Board of Regents and the Arizona Commerce and Economic Development Commission.

He is currently the vice president of Clean Energy Fuels, a company that provides natural gas for vehicles.

DuVal believes that Arizona is a place of "unbelievable opportunities" where people aren't afraid to take risks.

"We're the state that tells the federal government to 'Leave us alone. We'll do it ourselves.' And when we do, we go big, really big," he said.

He pointed to the freeway system around Phoenix, the Central Arizona Project, which brings water from the Colorado River to Phoenix and the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System - the state's version of Medicaid, which DuVal helped create.

"That's the state I love, but that's not the current state we're living in," he said. "Arizona has stalled out. It's become fearful. It has a terrible brand. We're better known for secession than success. We've got to take the crazy out of AZ."

"We have to adapt to the new economy," DuVal said. "We're stuck in a 1950s cul-de-sac. We'll never win the low-wage battle with the rest of the world. The rest of the world has taken our apps and dropped them into their operating system."

There are three ways the state can improve, DuVal said. It can better educate its workforce, take advantage of the alternative fuels market and increase the per-capita income of its residents.

The state hasn't entirely missed the boat on solar power, DuVal said. It can still get in on the flexible solar and the biofuels market. Flexible solar consists of a thin, lightweight, film of solar panels.

The state's tax system also needs to be adjusted to include more of the service industry and the Internet sales industry, he said.

The state also has to be less fearful of its neighbor to the south, Mexico, he said - Arizona's fear of immigration is chasing off one of its largest potential business partners.

"We've got to be a more friendly, respectful place," DuVal said.


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