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Arizona Gubernatorial Candidate Ken Bennett Considers Legal Action Over Clean Elections Funding

Ken Bennett
Jackie Hai/KJZZ
Ken Bennett in KJZZ's studio in 2018.

Arizona gubernatorial hopeful Ken Bennett is blaming Secretary of State Michele Reagan for not being able to qualify for public funding after the website for Clean Elections funding stopped taking donations at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

Bennett should have had until midnight.

Now, he’s considering legal action, but it could prove an uphill battle. 

"He could file a lawsuit against us and the secretary. But he would have to show, it seems to me, he had some reasonable likelihood of collecting some actual qualifying contributions. The other point is, where did he end up. He'd have to show that number is the number he's short by," said Tom Collins, executive director of the Citizens Clean Election Commission.

Campaign finance reports filed this week, which cover the period ending Aug. 11, Bennett had just over 2,800 qualifying contributions, short of the 4,000 he would need to free up more than $800,000 for his bid to become the GOP nominee.

Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.