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Solar Group Backs Burns For Commission

Corporation Commissioner Bob Burns

Money is pouring into the race for the Arizona Corporation Commission in the final stretch before the primary.

Campaign finance records show a pro-solar group spent about $667,000 dollars in support of Bob Burns, one of two incumbents running for the commission.

Burns has been the standard bearer in the fight to force Arizona Public Service to disclose whether it was behind $3 million dollars in dark money spending to get commissioners elected during the last cycle.

Others running against Burns like Representative Rick Gray are hammering him for what they call a "hypocritical" stance on the influence of the energy industry on races.

“If there is going to be a perception of regulatory capture, it looks to me like he’s the one being captured,” Gray said.

Burns said he would rather not have the solar industry involved in the campaign, but unlike the alleged APS dark money there is transparency about the source of these independent expenditures.

Five republicans are running for three seats on the commission. The three candidates with the most votes will advance to the general election.

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Will Stone grew up with the sounds of public radio. As a senior field correspondent, he strives to tell the same kind of powerful stories that got him into the business — whether that means trudging through some distant corner of the Sonoran Desert or uncovering an unknown injustice right down the street. Since joining the KJZZ newsroom in 2015, he has covered political scandals, fights over the future of energy, and efforts to care for some of Arizona’s most vulnerable communities. His pieces have also aired on national programs like Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here & Now and Marketplace. Before coming to KJZZ, he reported for public radio stations in Nevada and Connecticut. Stone received his degree in English literature from Haverford College, where he also wrote about the arts and culture scene in Philadelphia. After graduating, he interned at NPR West in Culver City, California, where he learned from some of the network’s veteran reporters and editors. When he doesn’t have a mic in hand, Stone enjoys climbing mountains, running through his central Phoenix neighborhood and shamelessly promoting his cat, Barry.