Mesa lawmaker Chuck Gray will help lead Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s campaign efforts in Arizona.
On Monday, the Romney campaign announced that Gray, a state senator and former Mesa police officer, will act as chairman in the state. “I am pleased to have the support of Chuck Gray, whose leadership in his community and in the state Legislature set an impressive example,” Romney said.
Gray said Romney has shown “that he can turn around problems.” As head of the campaign, Gray will travel across the state to build support for a candidate who has shown he has significant support outside of his home state of Massachusetts — and he’s got the campaign donations to prove it.
Last week Romney surprised many in the political world when he posted $23 million in first-quarter fundraising, the most among GOP presidential contenders.
It was also substantially more than Sen. John Mc-Cain, R-Ariz., who brought in $12 million. Until recently, McCain was considered the frontrunner to win the Republican nomination.
While Romney has done well among donors, he has been criticized for switching his positions on issues such as abortion and gay rights.
Last week he came under fire for comments made during a campaign stop where he claimed to be a lifelong hunter. His campaign aides later said he had only gone hunting twice — once as a teenager in Idaho and with GOP donors in Georgia last year, according to the Associated Press.
Romney has since corrected his staff, saying he hunted small game such as rabbits and squirrels in Utah, where he didn’t need a hunting license for these animals.