The nephew of Barry Goldwater, the right-wing U.S. senator who was the 1964 Republican presidential nominee, said Friday that he is running for governor of Arizona.
Don Goldwater confirmed his candidacy to seek the nomination to challenge Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano, but he declined to elaborate in advance of news conferences planned for Tuesday.
The 50-year-old Goldwater is a Republican Party activist and a former board member of the Goldwater Institute, a Phoenix think tank with libertarian leanings.
Barry Goldwater, who died in 1998, helped found the modern Republican Party in Arizona and served five terms as U.S. senator before retiring in 1987. He lost the 1964 presidential race to Lyndon Johnson.
Even though many Arizona voters have moved to the state fairly recently from elsewhere, Barry Goldwater's national prominence still should make the name ring for them, said Bruce Merrill, an Arizona State University professor who conducts statewide polling for the university's PBS television station, KAET.
"It's worth plenty in a media society," Merrill said. "It's a magic name."
This is good news for Arizona. We now have a candidate with major name recognition who should poll as well as Sheriff Joe in places with high voter turnout such as Sun City and neighboring communities.
Former state Senate President John Greene and current Senate President Ken Bennett should immediately reconsider their plans and get in line behind the new front runner.
Now we just need to make sure that the current party does not collapse in face of the onslaught that the candidate will receive from the highly partisan Arizona Republic. You can even gat a tase of that in the first sentence of the AP story where they label Barry "right-wing".