Reagan Beats Goddard in Secretary of State Race

Published: Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - 8:39pm
Updated: Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - 1:34am

State Sen. Michele Reagan has defeated a longtime member of the Arizona Democratic political establishment to become the next secretary of state.

Reagan, a veteran state lawmaker, topped former Attorney General Terry Goddard in Tuesday night's general election after a campaign that focused on voting rights and questions about how partisan the secretary of state's office should be. She also overcame questions about her voting record and a shaky debate performance where she struggled to articulate about being ready to serve as governor.

She said fair and honest elections will be her top priority. As a legislator, she backed bills that attempted to eliminate third-party ballot-collecting, which she says could lead to fraud.

"Our biggest priority is going up there and working on election reform and on transparency and streamlining business filing issues," Reagan said.

Reagan also backs what is known as a dual-track voting system. Under such a system, voters who cannot prove citizenship will get a special ballot that would only apply to federal races.

Goddard said dark money, in which candidates don't have to disclose their donors, is a major reason for his loss.

"I'm proud of his campaign," he said. "I'm proud of having shone a light on the biggest danger to our democracy: dark money. Arizonans are learning the truth about corporate forces too cowardly to come out in the open."

Goddard said he will continue to advocate for disclosure from dark-money groups.

Reagan said fair and honest elections are her No. 1 priority going into office.

The secretary of state is Arizona's top elections officer and becomes governor if there's a vacancy in the office.

Reagan has served in the Legislature since 2002.

The Associated Press and Alexandra Olgin contributed to this report.

Updated 11/5/14 at 1:34 a.m.

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