Money and name recognition are two of the most important elements a political candidate can have. Don Goldwater now has both. On Friday, the GOP gubernatorial hopeful qualified for $453,874 in public financing to inject into his campaign as it heads into the final stretch of the primary race.
Goldwater said he intends to use the cash on a flurry of television and radio advertisements as well as political campaign signs and literature before voters head to the polls on Sept. 12.
He said there’s still plenty of time to spend the money. “We’ve known exactly what we would do with this money,” Goldwater said Friday afternoon. “Now we finally have it.”
Last month, Goldwater filed more than 4,600 $5 contributions to qualify for public funding — about 400 more than the minimum. After a random check by the Secretary of State’s Office, some donors were disqualified for various reasons. The donations were then sent back to the counties to go over each donation. Deputy Secretary of State Kevin Tyne said 13 of the state’s 15 counties had reported by late Friday, showing Goldwater had the 4,200 contributions needed to qualify.
Todd Lang, executive director of the Citizens Clean Elections Commission, said his office notified the Goldwater campaign Friday afternoon that it qualified for the cash.
Lang said even though Goldwater won’t get the money until Tuesday, he could start contracting for political services immediately.
But he’s starting behind Len Munsil, who qualified months ago and is planning to unveil a television ad next week. The other two GOP candidates — Mike Harris and Gary Tupper — are running as traditional candidates.
As the nephew of former state Sen. Barry Goldwater, Don Goldwater is heir to one of the most powerful and most recognizable names in Arizona politics. In fact, even without public funding, Goldwater has been leading most of the political polls for the GOP primary this year.