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GOP businessman Steve Gaynor joins Arizona governor race

June 25, 2021 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) — Steve Gaynor, a Republican businessman who ran unsuccessfully for Arizona secretary of state in 2018, announced Friday he’s running for governor.

Gaynor announced his bid in a letter to Republicans, which highlighted border security, election integrity, water supplies, education and “critical race theory,” a catch-all phrase gaining popularity with conservative opposed to certain kinds of diversity training.

He founded Fair Maps Arizona, an effort to influence the redistricting process and said in his letter he’ll continue working on the effort “until the job is done.”

“As your Governor, I will bring my outsider perspective, my business experience and my conservative principles to attack these problems,” Gaynor wrote.

Gaynor narrowly lost the 2018 race to Democrat Katie Hobbs. He spent $2.6 million of his own money and emphasized his business experience as the owner of a Los Angeles printing plant. Critics labeled him a wealthy donor who paid his way into the race.

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Gaynor joins a crowded field of Republicans running for governor, including former television anchor Kari Lake, former U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon, businesswoman Karrin Taylor Robson and state Treasurer Kimberly Yee.

Hobbs is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor along with Marco Lopez, an investor and former adviser to Janet Napolitano when she was Arizona governor and U.S. Homeland Security secretary.