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Andrew Thomas files for governor's race
Former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas says he wants to be Arizona's next governor to combat crime and border violence. He filed the paperwork for his gubernatorial bid Friday afternoon.
Thomas lost his law license last year for ethical lapses during his tenure as County Attorney, including filing frivolous criminal charges against county officials and county judges.
But Thomas claims he was disbarred for taking on powerful forces and denied that would prevent voters from supporting him.
"Voters appreciate the fact that in Arizona we have a tradition of honoring those in law enforcement who are targeted in the line of duty," Thomas told reporters on Friday afternoon. "That is what happened to me, and I'm convinced that at the end of the day, that is how the voters are going to vote."
Thomas declined to answer questions about how he would convince voters that the claims against him were untrue.
He spoke to media after filing his paperwork at the Secretary of State's office. He was joined by about a dozen supporters, including tea party and conservative activists.
He will be using public money to run as a Clean Elections candidate.
Thomas told The Arizona Republic that he will not be seeking an endorsement from Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, with whom he worked with closely in the past. On Friday afternoon he reiterated that he would not be relying on the Sheriff's help with his campaign.
"I am very proud of the work I did with the Sheriff, I think it was very important work," Thomas said. "I think it was a great service to the community, but this is my fight, and it is time for me to stand on my own with these great people and we are going to take our government back."
Some heated exchanges broke out between Thomas' supporters and two activists who were collecting signatures to recall Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Thomas is the sixth candidate to officially enter the 2014 governor's race so far.