Tom Horne falls in GOP attorney general primary

Tom Horne falls in GOP attorney general primary

Tom Horne falls in GOP attorney general primary

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by Bob Christie, Associated Press

azfamily.com

Posted on August 26, 2014 at 8:32 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 26 at 10:03 PM

PHOENIX (AP) -- Attorney General Tom Horne was thrown out of office Tuesday in the Republican primary after a rocky first term that resulted in several misconduct investigations.

Horne lost the primary to the state's former top gambling regulator, Mark Brnovich, who pounced on the allegations against his incumbent rival.

In the November general election, Brnovich will face Democrat Felecia Rotellini, who ran unopposed.

Horne, who defeated Rotellini in 2010, has been dogged for three years by allegations of campaign-finance violations, an FBI investigation and a hit-and-run where he pleaded no contest.

Horne has consistently denied the campaign finance charges and said if he had known he damaged the other vehicle in a minor parking lot accident he would have left a note.

Brnovich and his backers asked voters to throw the state's top law enforcement officer out of office, saying Horne "created a culture of corruption within the attorney general's office."

Horne's legal problems have cost him support among the GOP establishment, with prominent politicians such as Gov. Jan Brewer and former U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl endorsing Brnovich over the incumbent.

Brnovich also said Horne hadn't been vigorous enough in fighting federal mandates such as new clear air rules for coal-fired power plants that could harm the state's power supply, new clean water act rules and endangered species regulations. He said if elected he will aggressively fight federal government overreach and work to prosecute drug cartels and protect the unborn and elderly.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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PHOENIX (AP) -- Attorney General Tom Horne has been thrown out of office in the Republican primary after a rocky first term.

Horne lost the primary to the state's former top gambling regulator, Mark Brnovich (BURN-uh-vich)

Brnovich attacked Horne for the many investigations that have hounded him in his first term and prompted most of the Arizona political establishment to distance themselves.

Horne was investigated for a hit-and-run accident, campaign finance violations and having his attorney general staff work on his re-election effort while on the clock.

Brnovich will face Democrat Felecia Rotellini in the November election.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Former state gaming department director and prosecutor Mark Brnovich surged into the lead Tuesday night in early voting results in the Republican primary for Arizona Attorney General.

Brnovich is trying to unseat incumbent Tom Horne and move on to the general election in November against attorney Felecia Rotellini, who's running unopposed in the Democratic primary Tuesday.

Horne, who beat Rotellini in 2010, has been dogged for three years by allegations of campaign-finance violations, an FBI investigation and a hit-and-run where he pleaded no contest. He's consistently denied the campaign finance charges and said if he had known he damaged the other vehicle in a minor parking lot accident he would have left a note.

Brnovich and his backers are asking voters to throw the state's top law enforcement officer out of office. Brnovich has said Horne has "created a culture of corruption within the attorney general's office."

Horne's legal problems have cost him support among the GOP establishment, with prominent politicians such as Gov. Jan Brewer and former U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl endorsing Brnovich over the incumbent.

Horne said he believes voters should look past what he says are unfounded complaints against him and look at his record.

"I think the voters are interested in the actual achievements," Horne said in an interview last week. "I personally argued two Supreme Court cases, one of which established our right to require evidence of citizenship to vote, the other of which limited federal interference in state courts enforcing our criminal laws."

He also pointed to a bank settlement over foreclosures that brought in $2 billion that bolstered state coffers and helped keep people in their homes, and his work expanding consumer protections and creating a child sex-trafficking task force.

Scottsdale resident Donald Shelley said Tuesday that he voted for Horne despite his legal woes.

"I weighed the controversy and tried to weigh what's really political mudslinging versus what is personal," Shelley said. "I support conservative candidates."

Brnovich has said Horne hasn't been vigorous enough in fighting federal mandates such as new clear air rules for coal-fired power plants that could harm the state's power supply, new clean water act rules and endangered species regulations. He said if elected he will aggressively fight federal government overreach and work to prosecute drug cartels and protect the unborn and elderly.

On Monday, Brnovich said he believed he was going to score a rare win against an incumbent.

"I like the position we're in - I think all the hard work is going to pay off," he said.

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Tom Horne, Mark Brnovich face off in GOP primary

PHOENIX (AP) -- Early returns showed incumbent Tom Horne holding a slight lead over former state gaming department director and prosecutor Mark Brnovich in the Republican primary for Arizona Attorney General on Tuesday night.

The winner faces attorney Felecia Rotellini, who is running unopposed in the Democratic primary, in November's general election. Horne beat Rotellini in 2010.

Horne has been dogged for three years by allegations of campaign-finance violations, an FBI investigation and a hit-and-run where he pleaded no contest. He's consistently denied the campaign finance charges and said if he had known he damaged the other vehicle in a minor parking lot accident he would have left a note.

Brnovich and his backers are asking voters to throw the state's top law enforcement officer out of office. Brnovich has said Horne has "created a culture of corruption within the attorney general's office."

Horne's legal problems have cost him support among the GOP establishment, with prominent politicians such as Gov. Jan Brewer and former U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl endorsing Brnovich over the incumbent.

Horne said he believes voters should look past what he says are unfounded complaints against him and look at his record.

"I think the voters are interested in the actual achievements," Horne said in an interview last week. "I personally argued two Supreme Court cases, one of which established our right to require evidence of citizenship to vote, the other of which limited federal interference in state courts enforcing our criminal laws."

He also pointed to a bank settlement over foreclosures that brought in $2 billion that bolstered state coffers and helped keep people in their homes, and his work expanding consumer protections and creating a child sex-trafficking task force.

Scottsdale resident Donald Shelley said Tuesday that he voted for Horne despite his legal woes.

"I weighed the controversy and tried to weigh what's really political mudslinging versus what is personal," Shelley said. "I support conservative candidates."

Brnovich has said Horne hasn't been vigorous enough in fighting federal mandates such as new clear air rules for coal-fired power plants that could harm the state's power supply, new clean water act rules and endangered species regulations. He said if elected he will aggressively fight federal government overreach and work to prosecute drug cartels and protect the unborn and elderly.

On Monday, Brnovich said he believed he was going to score a rare win against an incumbent.

"I like the position we're in - I think all the hard work is going to pay off," he said.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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PHOENIX (AP) -- Early returns show incumbent Tom Horne holding a slight lead in the Republican primary for Arizona Attorney General.

Former state gaming department director and prosecutor Mark Brnovich (burn-o-vich) is trailing Horne in the early vote totals Tuesday night.

The winner advances to November's general election against attorney Felecia Rotellini, who's running unopposed in the Democratic primary.

Horne has been dogged for three years by allegations of campaign-finance violations, an FBI investigation and a hit-and-run where he pleaded no contest.

He's consistently denied the campaign finance charges and said if he had known he damaged the other vehicle in a minor parking lot accident he would have left a note.

Brnovich and his backers are asking voters to throw the state's top law enforcement officer out of office.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne faces a tough challenge when Republican primary voters head to the polls Tuesday.

Former state gaming department director and prosecutor Mark Brnovich is trying to unseat the incumbent and move on to the general election in November.

Horne has been dogged for three years by allegations of campaign-finance violations, an FBI investigation and a hit-and-run where he pleaded no contest. He's consistently denied the campaign finance charges and said if he had known he damaged the other vehicle in a minor parking lot accident he would have left a note.

Brnovich and his backers are asking voters to throw the state's top law enforcement officer out of office. Brnovich has said Horne has "created a culture of corruption within the attorney general's office."

Horne's legal problems have cost him support among the GOP establishment, with prominent politicians such as Gov. Jan Brewer and former U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl endorsing Brnovich over the incumbent.

Horne said he believes voters should look past what he says are unfounded complaints against him and look at his record.

"I think the voters are interested in the actual achievements," Horne said in an interview last week. "I personally argued two Supreme Court cases, one of which established our right to require evidence of citizenship to vote, the other of which limited federal interference in state courts enforcing our criminal laws."

He also pointed to a bank settlement over foreclosures that brought in $2 billion that bolstered state coffers and helped keep people in their homes, and his work expanding consumer protections and creating a child sex-trafficking task force.

Scottsdale resident Donald Shelley said Tuesday that he voted for Horne despite his legal woes.

"I weighed the controversy and tried to weigh what's really political mudslinging versus what is personal," Shelley said. "I support conservative candidates."

Brnovich has said Horne hasn't been vigorous enough in fighting federal mandates such as new clear air rules for coal-fired power plants that could harm the state's power supply, new clean water act rules and endangered species regulations. He said if elected he will aggressively fight federal government overreach and work to prosecute drug cartels and protect the unborn and elderly.

On Monday, Brnovich said he believed he was going to score a rare win against an incumbent.

"I like the position we're in - I think all the hard work is going to pay off," he said.

The winner of the Republican primary faces attorney Felecia Rotellini, who is running unopposed in the Democratic primary, in November's general election. Horne beat Rotellini in 2010.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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PHOENIX (AP) -- Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne will find out Tuesday if voters think three years fighting off allegations of campaign finance violations and other negative news outweighs what he argues is a solid record of accomplishments as the state's top law enforcement official.

Horne is facing a tough challenge from former state gaming department director and prosecutor Mark Brnovich in the Republican primary. The winner will take on Democrat Felecia Rotellini, who is running unopposed in the primary, in November.

Horne's legal problems have cost him support among the GOP establishment, with prominent politicians like Gov. Jan Brewer and former U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl endorsing Brnovich over the incumbent, and figures like Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery calling on him to resign.

But Horne says voters should look past what he says are unfounded complaints against him and look at his record.

"I think the voters are interested in the actual achievements," Horne said in an interview last week. "I personally argued two Supreme Court cases, one of which established our right to require evidence of citizenship to vote, the other of which limited federal interference in state courts enforcing our criminal laws."

He also pointed to a bank settlement over foreclosures that brought in $2 billion that bolstered state coffers and helped keep people in their homes, and his work expanding consumer protections and creating a child sex-trafficking task force.

Brnovich and his supporters say Horne's record in office is tainted by allegations of campaign finance violations that stem from his 2010 election campaign and a new case from his re-election effort. He argued Horne's record isn't that stellar, even if one discounts personal legal troubles that have kept him in the news as a defendant rather than a prosecutor.

"I think there are some things that Tom may have done that maybe you tipped your hat to, but at the end of day, he's been MIA on so many issues," Brnovich said earlier this month. "And I don't know if that's because he has been distracted by his legal and ethical problems, because he seems to spend more time these days in a courtroom with his personal defense attorney versus prosecuting and protecting Arizonans."

Brnovich cites Horne's failure to fight federal mandates such as new clear air rules for coal-fires power plants that could harm the state's power supply, new clean water act rules and endangered species' regulations.

"Tom Horne likes to say that he sues Obama twice before breakfast," Brnovich said. "I commented to someone that he's probably only ate breakfast one time then in the last 3 1/2 years, because we haven't seen enough vigorous action."

Brnovich says he'll aggressively fight federal government overreach and work to prosecute drug cartels and protect the unborn and elderly.

A Phoenix native, Brnovich has served as a prosecutor in Maricopa County, at the attorney general's office and as an assistant U.S. attorney. He was appointed state Gaming Department director by Brewer in 2009 and stepped down last year to run for attorney general. He's also worked for the Goldwater Institute's Center for Constitutional Government was a director at a private prison company.

Horne is a lawyer who served in the legislature from 1996-2000, then two terms as Superintendent of Public Instruction before winning his current office in a 2010 race against Rotellini.

His legal troubles began shortly after the 2010 election, when an investigation was launched into whether he illegally coordinated with an outside group run by an aide that supported him. The FBI began following him, and in 2012, Montgomery brought civil charges of campaign finance violations.

Horne fought the case, which was pulled from Montgomery and sent to the Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk, who brought the charges again. After a three-day hearing early this year, an administrative law judge found there was not enough evidence to support the allegations, but Polk rejected the findings and reinstated them. Horne has denied wrongdoing, and is appealing.

He also faces campaign finance allegations brought by a former staffer that he was using his executive staff to run his re-election bid. Two investigations are underway.

Horne said the neutral judge found the 2010 campaign finance allegations lacked merit, and said the new charges were brought by a "disgruntled, embittered" former employee and also lack merit.

Horne also pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor hit-and-run charge last year. The case was filed after FBI agents apparently trailing him in the campaign finance case saw him drive into a parked vehicle while driving a borrowed car.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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