Boyd Dunn, whose final term as Chandler's mayor ends this year, says he has met with each member of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors over the last month about his potential appointment to replace County Attorney Andrew Thomas.
Don Stapley, the Board of Supervisors chairman, said Dunn is one of about a half-dozen people who have expressed interest in the county attorney position if Thomas resigns to run for state attorney general in the next several weeks.
"I've spoken to (Dunn). He's one of several individuals who have called over the last six months," Stapley said.
Stapley said other potential candidates include former County Attorney Rick Romley; Andrew Pacheco, a previous candidate for county attorney; lawyer Jay Beckstead; and Bill Montgomery, who currently works in Thomas' office. Dunn said it's unclear whether Thomas, who recently announced his intention to run for higher office, plans to resign in the near future as county attorney, but it could give the Board of Supervisors the authority to appoint a temporary replacement until the November general election.
"We don't know what (Thomas') timing is," he said. "What will happen, I really don't know."
Stapley said Thomas must resign by May 26 if he wants to run for attorney general. It's premature to start guessing about potential front-runners to replace him, Stapley said.
"None of us know if Mr. Thomas is even going to resign, let alone when," he said.
Dunn, a 1978 graduate of Arizona State University's College of Law, has been a practicing attorney for 32 years. He was elected to the Chandler City Council in 1994 and began the first of his two four-year terms as the city's mayor in 2002. He said he'd like to continue in public service, but he hasn't been campaigning for the county attorney position as actively as some other potential candidates.
"I've indicated to (the Board of Supervisors) my interest to be considered if that vacancy occurs," Dunn said. "There are quite a few individuals doing the same thing."
Thomas has been involved in high-profile clashes with the county board and has filed criminal indictments against Stapley and another supervisor, Mary Rose Wilcox, accusing both of corruption. Stapley accused Thomas of having a "vendetta" against the board.
Dunn said that if he's appointed as Thomas' replacement, he would reexamine the motivation and intent of some actions undertaken by the County Attorney's Office, "whether they have become political or whether evidence exists."
"I certainly would look at each of those lawsuits and examine them as to their purpose and reason," he said.
Dunn said that he, like Thomas, falls on the conservative side of the political spectrum.
"I get along well with Andrew Thomas. I think we share a lot of conservative concepts, from a fiscal standpoint and the like," he said. "I think we have more similarities than differences."