Goddard enjoys support of small businesses

Chris Rizo Jul. 15, 2008, 2:20pm

Terry Goddard (D)

Phil Gordon (D)

PHOENIX, Ariz. (Legal Newsline) - Small business owners in Arizona, who lean Republican, say they want Democratic state Attorney General Terry Goddard to be the next governor, a leading pollster told Legal Newsline.

A survey of members of the Arizona Small Business Association indicates that 43 percent of the 250 companies that responded to the survey would like to see Goddard as the state's next chief executive.

"He has been doing a very credible job in office and he's been around for a while; he's a known commodity," Michael O'Neil, president of O'Neil Associates Public Opinion Research, said, explaining Goddard's support among business leaders who traditionally vote Republican.

Goddard, the former popular mayor of Phoenix, ran twice unsuccessfully for governor in 1990 and 1994.

"One of the fatalities of being mayor of Phoenix is that you tend to be popular in Phoenix but everyone else wonders if your interests are too parochial or not," O'Neil said. "It's been almost 20 years since he's been mayor, so in the case of Terry Goddard that is long-gone forgotten."

The attorney general has not said if he will make a third run for governor. O'Neil said he has no question that Goddard will run.

"There isn't any doubt in anyone's mind that he would like the job," O'Neil said, noting that Goddard's father was Arizona governor and he has run for the post twice before.

Goddard's "coyness reflects an assessment of probabilities rather than desires," O'Neil said.

Taking the small business survey's No. 2 spot was Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon. The Democrat had 21 percent support.

Republican U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters had the most support among potential GOP candidates.

When Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano leaves office in 2010, Goddard will be barred by term limits from seeking a third four-year term as attorney general.

The survey, conducted in late June, has a margin of error of plus or minus six percentage points.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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