PHOENIX – State Representative Steve Montenegro today issued the following statement:
“In March of this year I was approached by a group of conservative leaders who asked me to explore a run for Secretary of State. At the time, their concern was that such a critical office needed a reliable conservative to ensure that Arizona’s elections would be held in strict compliance with the law and that the integrity of the process would come first. They also shared their concern that as first-in-line to succeed the Governor, the Secretary of State needed to be a solid conservative in case anything should happen that would cause the office of Governor to be vacated. At the time, the field of potential candidates was decidedly narrow, left-of-center, and their reason for concern was both legitimate and compelling.
I have spent these last five months exploring and was encouraged by the results, both around Arizona and even nationally. I have been honored and humbled by those who have stepped up to put their name next to mine, included twenty or so of my fellow State Legislators. I had every reason to believe that the fight we were being drawn into was one we were best prepared to fight.
However, over the last week or so the race changed in a fundamental way. Wil Cardon, a fellow conservative and someone I supported when he ran for the U.S. Senate last year, spoke with me and indicated that he was prepared to run for Secretary of State. Since then he has filed to run. Wil brings both a statewide organization and phenomenal resources to this race, and the experience he gained in 2012 will make him a better and more effective candidate. While I recognize that there is no such thing as “can’t lose” in politics, Wil Cardon is our best chance to ensure that a conservative wins in November and that liberal candidates considering this office will not be successful.
It makes no sense for me to consume the time and treasure of so many good people to run an uphill race against someone on the same team. Several years ago, when I was first recruited into running for office, I learned that politics is a team sport and politicians fail themselves and those they serve when they put their interests ahead of the team’s.
Conservatives in Arizona wanted a candidate for Secretary of State they could rally to. With Wil Cardon they have that candidate, and I am pleased to offer him my support. I would further encourage everyone who was so kind to me and who offered me support to take a close look at Wil and then join me in the effort to elect Wil and other conservatives up and down the ballot in 2014.
I have enjoyed my time in the State House and look forward to continuing my work there, and to seeking re-election in 2014.
Melissa and I want to thank everyone, from the bottoms of our hearts, for your support, prayers, contributions, and effort. I look forward to serving the cause for years to come, particularly when the time is right and the need is compelling.
Onward to victory in 2014, and Vote Cardon!”