DuVal snags endorsement of deep-pocketed Democratic donor

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX-- Arizona businessman and big time Democratic donor, Jim Pederson, announced Monday that he's backing Fred DuVal for governor in 2014.

Although the first votes won't be cast in the race for another 14 months, this becomes the latest high-profile endorsement for DuVal, a former member of the Arizona Board of Regents.

Pederson is an Arizona developer who is known politically for spending huge amounts of money on Democratic candidates, which include himself. Back in 2006, Pederson dropped $10 million of his own money in his unsuccessful bid to defeat then Republican Sen. Jon Kyl, (R-AZ).

"Everybody knows that growing a business requires vision," Pederson said in a statement. "It's not much different with growing the economy of a state. You need a vision and you need someone with the leadership skills to sell that vision and bring people together to make it come to life. Fred's got both parts covered."

Since officially announcing in April that he was seeking to become Arizona's 23rd governor, DuVal has rolled out a long list of well known Arizona Democratic supporters that include former U.S. Sen. Dennis DeConcini, former Gov. Rose Mofford and ex-congressman Harry Mitchell.

At this point there are no other official Democratic challengers for the state's top office. House Minority Leader Chad Campbell has expressed a lot of interest in running for the party's nomination. But he is prohibited from formerly jumping into the competition because of state laws requiring elected officials to resign their office to run for another one (unless they're in the last year of their term).

The state Legislature voted to change that law this year, but that piece of legislation wont' take affect until the fall.