Tom Horne (Arizona)
|Thomas C. Horne|
|Attorney General of Arizona|
|2011 – present|
|January 5, 2015|
|Years in position||3|
|Predecessor||Terry Goddard (D)|
|Elections and appointments|
|First elected||November 2, 2010|
|Next general||November 4, 2014|
|Term limits||2 consecutive terms|
|Arizona House of Representatives|
|J.D.||Harvard University School of Law|
|Birthday||March 28, 1945|
|Place of birth||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Political career
- 2.1 Arizona Attorney General (2011-present)
- 2.2 Superintendent of Public Instruction (2002-2010)
- 2.3 State Legislature (1996-2000)
- 3 Elections
- 4 Campaign donors
- 5 Controversies
- 6 Personal
- 7 Contact information
- 8 Recent news
- 9 See also
- 10 External links
- 11 References
Horne has served in all three branches of government. Immediately before becoming attorney general, Horne served as Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction from 2003 to 2011. Prior to that, he was a two term member of the Arizona House of Representatives. Horne's legal experience includes over 30 years working in private practice as a litigating attorney. Over that period of time, he earned his judicial branch credits, holding the positions of Special Assistant Attorney General, Superior Court Judge Pro Tem and Court of Appeals Judge Pro Tem.
Horne switched his registration from Democratic to Republican in 1996 before his first election to the state legislature.
Beginning in Feb. 2012, Horne went under FBI investigation for alleged campaign finance violations. The investigation stemmed from a complaint filed with Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett in which a volunteer from his 2010 attorney general campaign accused Horne of illegally coordinating with the group Business Leaders for Arizona, a supposedly independent contributor to Horne's campaign run by former Horne staffer Kathleen Winn. The charges against Horne were dismissed in May 2013 by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Rea.
After graduating with honors from Harvard University Law School in 1970, Horne entered into private legal practice. He remained a practicing litigating attorney for the next 30 years. Horne's resume contains service credits from every branch of government, as well as a publishing credit for authoring a legal text for the Arizona State Bar. Other roles Horne occupies or has previously occupied include:
- Member, Arizona Bar (1972-present)
- Former Chair, Arizona Air Pollution Hearing
- Former Chair, Phoenix Library Advisory Board
- Board Member, Phoenix Symphony
- Bachelor's degree, Harvard College (1967)
- Juris Doctorate degree, Harvard University Law School (1970)
Arizona Attorney General (2011-present)
Horne announced his candidacy for the statewide office of attorney general, the seat being vacated by Democrat Terry Goddard, in February 2010. Goddard chose to campaign for the governorship rather than seek re-election. After a lengthy and bitter primary campaign in which both candidates routinely exchanged scathing criticisms of one another, the results for the election were so close that the ultimate outcome would not be known for some time after the polls closed. Despite speculation to the contrary, Andrew Thomas refused to concede the primary nomination to Horne until every single vote was counted, a process that continued for a nearly a week after Arizona voters went to the polls on Tuesday, August 24, 2010. Finally, on Tuesday, September 1, he conceded the nomination to his primary opponent when, after all the votes had been recounted, it was determined that Horne had maintained a 899 vote lead over the former attorney.
Mortgage settlement transfer
Arizona was awarded a $1.6 billion share - the third greatest, after California and Florida - of the $26 billion settlement from the 49 state lawsuit brought against 5 major mortgage institutions over nefarious lending practices. When the settlement was reached in February, 2012, the terms of how the pot would be distributed among, and within, the lawsuit's member states were laid out; Arizona was to direct $1.3 billion of its share to homeowners whose mortgage debts exceeded their homes' value, $110 million in payments for those who already lost their homes to lender misconduct, $85 million for interest rate reductions, and, finally, $97.7 million to go straight to the attorney general's office. The $97.7 million, according to the language of the settlement, was reserved for the purposes of avoiding preventable foreclosures, easing the strain imposed on individuals and the economy by the foreclosure crisis, as well as prosecuting further related incidences of fraud.
Months later, Arizona lawmakers devised a plan to balance the budget via a governor-approved absorption of roughly half of that money into the state government's checking account. Horne lobbied against the decision, calling it "bad public policy". Despite informing the legislature and Gov. Jan Brewer that the money was intended for the victims of the crisis, not for general government purposes, he pledged to voluntarily comply with the $50 million transfer. "It would be suicidal for me to get into a war with [them] over a matter that is clearly constitutionally within their area of responsibility, namely the budget," Horne confessed- a statement with which Tim Hogan, an attorney for the Center for Law in the Public Interest, disagreed. In a letter to the attorney general, Hogan wrote that neither the Legislature nor Horne, as the fund's Trustee, has the right to voluntarily give half of the court-ordered trust fund to the state General Fund.
To legally justify the transfer, the bodies responsible for drawing up the budget invoked language from the settlement which permit a state to distill internally from the fund on the specific, necessary condition of compensating "for costs resulting from the alleged unlawful conduct of the defendants." They reasoned the state was covered under this contingency because, "general tax collections plummeted when the housing bubble burst and brought on a recession." Indeed, the crisis wreaked havoc on the state economy, but Hogan contended that provision was not broad enough to include the general costs of government and sought to block the transfer. Horne said he would oppose efforts like Hogan's, and, barring an injunction, intended to proceed with turning over the $50 million to the treasurer on July, 1, 2012, which began the next fiscal year. The money was putatively destined for prison construction.
FBI investigation of 2010 campaign-finance complaint
On February 11, 2012, a former Horne campaign volunteer and lawyer from the attorney general's Tucson office named Don Dybus filed a complaint with Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett alleging that Horne violated state campaign laws during his election campaign for attorney general in 2010. The FBI was charged with investigating the complaint, which contended that Horne flouted the state's law prohibiting coordination between campaigns and independent expenditure committees, and accused Horne of making a felonious deal with campaign supporter Kathleen Winn, promising her a post-election job in exchange for her alleged services as a coordinator of several of the cited illicit arrangements.
In his complaint, Dybus said Horne collaborated with manager Nathan Sproul of the firm Lincoln Strategy, independent committee Business Leaders for Arizona, and Winn, who was the committee's Chairwoman, to arrange a $115,000 contribution to Business Leaders for Arizona from Horne's brother-in-law in Santa Monica, California. Dybus also accused Lincoln Strategy of facilitating a $350,000 contribution to the independent committee from the Republican State Leadership Committee in Virginia. The independent committee implicated by Dybus reportedly spent roughly $500,000 on a series of advertisements smearing Horne's general election opponent Felecia Rotellini (D), whom Horne narrowly defeated in November 2011.
After Horne took office as attorney general, he hired Winn to serve as his Director of Community Outreach, a high-paid position within the office. As revealed in the Arizona Capitol Times, Dybus called for Winn to be removed from the payroll, and urged Gov. Jan Brewer to replace Horne: “This is a matter of grave concern to all citizens of Arizona who should not tolerate a law-breaking attorney general."
A spokeswoman from his office relayed Horne's explicit denial of any wrongdoing, insisting "the fact is that extraordinary care was exercised to avoid coordination," and referring to Dybus as "disgruntled."
In mid-September 2010, Horne, who, at the time, was in the midst of his campaign for state attorney general, announced his endorsement of Proposition 106 - The Arizona Health Insurance Reform Amendment, which would amend the State Constitution by barring any rules or regulations that would force state residents to participate in a health-care system. In addition to this, the amendment would also ensure that individuals would have the right to pay for private health insurance. On Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010, Arizona Proposition 106 passed with slightly over fifty-five percent of the public who voted on the measure approving it.
As part of his campaign, Horne promised to join the twenty-plus other state attorneys general in challenging the constitutionality of the newly enacted federal health care reform measures, in particular the "individual mandate" that requires all citizens to purchase health insurance.
Superintendent of Public Instruction (2002-2010)
Horne spoke strongly before the Arizona State Legislature in favor of the passage of Senate Bill 1069, which would ban ethnic-studies courses from the state's high schools. Under the law, "a district or charter school that allows such courses would lose 10 percent of its state funds each month;" the money, however, would be returned once the programs had been shuttered. The State Superintendent argued that it is the responsibility of the public schools "to develop the student's identity as Americans and as strong individuals" rather then to "promote ethnic chauvinism."
On Thursday, April 29, 2010, the Arizona House of Representatives passed the ban on ethnic studies programs in the state by a vote of 32 - 26. The measure made it "illegal for a school district to teach any courses that promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, promote resentment of a particular race or class of people, are designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group or "advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals."
As State Superintendent, Horne was cited on record for supporting the use of $1.2 billion annually from Arizona taxpayers to pay for educating the children of illegal immigrants. Additionally, he called for a plan in which high school graduates who are in the United States illegally would be granted citizenship upon passing a simple standardized test. Critics argued, however, that this would only serve as an incentive for immigrants to break the law.
In April 2009, Horne opposed a bill "that would have Arizona schools ask students whether they were in the country legally." The legislation was designed specifically to serve as a legal challenge to the 1982 Supreme Court case, Plyler vs. Doe, that prohibited public schools from denying illegal immigrant students access to a public education.
State Legislature (1996-2000)
Horne was first elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in 1996 and ultimately served two terms in office. During his tenure, he served as both the chairman of the Academic Accountability Committee and vice chairman of the Education Committee.
Near the end of his tenure as a member of the Arizona House of Representatives, Horne voted against House Bill 2708, which closed a legislative loophole by banning "taxpayer funding for abortion."
While serving in the state legislature, Horne opposed Arizona House Bill 2074 (HB 2074), also known as the Arizona Tuition Tax Credit Law. The measure, passed by the Arizona House of Representatives in 1997, allowed state taxpayers up to a $500.00 tax credit if they chose to donate to a private school scholarship fund. In addition to reducing state tax liability of private citizens, it facilitated parents more flexibility when choosing educational options for their children.
- See also: Arizona attorney general election, 2014
Horne ran unsuccessfully for re-election as Attorney General of Arizona in 2014. He failed to secure the Republican nomination in the primary on August 26, 2014, losing to challenger Mark Brnovich. The general election takes place November 4, 2014.
Primary election - August 26, 2014
|Arizona Attorney General, Republican Primary, 2014|
|Tom Horne Incumbent||46.3%||216,278|
|Election Results Via:Arizona Secretary of State. Vote totals above are unofficial and reflect 100% precincts reporting.|
Midway through his first term as attorney general, Horne found himself the subject of an ongoing FBI investigation stemming from an alleged hit and run incident. This blight, in addition to his rumored extra-marital affair with a staffer, led Horne to forgo his long-anticipated gubernatorial campaign in favor of seeking another term in his current post. These scandals led Governing to rate Arizona's attorney general seat as "vulnerable" to partisan switch in the 2014 elections.
Horne's controversy-riddled first term gave way to the incumbent's six point ousting by sole Republican challenger Mark Brnovich in the party's primary. Brnovich, the former Director of the Arizona Department of Gaming, faces 2010 Arizona Gubernatorial nominee and Assistant Attorney General Felecia Rotellini in the general election on November 4, 2014.
Although Arizona tends to vote Republican, especially at the state level, Democrats placed considerable hopes in Rotellini early on in the election season. Rotellini's background as superintendent of the state Department of Financial Institutions bodes well for as a fundraiser and thus her chances in the race to succeed Horne as Arizona's chief legal official.
|Arizona Attorney General, Republican Primary|
|Poll||Mark Brnovich||Tom Horne*||Undecided||Margin of Error||Sample Size|
July 9-10, 2014
July 14, 2014
August 19-20, 2014
|Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to|
- See also: Arizona Attorney General election, 2010
|2010 Race for Attorney General - Republican Primary|
|Republican Party||Tom Horne||50.1%|
|Republican Party||Andrew Thomas||49.9%|
|2010 Race for Attorney General - General Election|
|Republican Party||Tom Horne||51.9%|
|Democratic Party||Felecia Rotellini||48.1%|
- Tom Horne ran unopposed in this contest
|2006 Race for Superintendent of Public Instruction - General Election|
|Republican Party||Tom Horne||53.7%|
|Democratic Party||Jason Williams||46.3%|
|2002 Race for Superintendent of Public Instruction - Republican Primary|
|Republican Party||Tom Horne||41.2%|
|Republican Party||Jaime Molera||30.3%|
|Republican Party||Keith Bee||28.5%|
|2002 Race for Superintendent of Public Instruction - General Election|
|Republican Party||Tom Horne||50.1%|
|Democratic Party||Jay Blanchard||46.3%|
|Libertarian Party||John C. Zajac||3.6%|
|1998 Race for Arizona House of Representatives, District 24 - Republican Primary|
|Republican Party||Tom Horne||58.7%|
|Republican Party||Barbara Leff||41.3%|
|1998 Race for Arizona House of Representatives, District 24 - General Election|
|Republican Party||Tom Horne||34.9%|
|Republican Party||Barbara Leff||32.1%|
|Democratic Party||Jacqueline Gasser||16.7%|
|Democratic Party||Chris Klein||16.3%|
|1996 Race for Arizona House of Representatives, District 24 - Republican Primary|
|Republican Party||Tom Horne||24.9%|
|Republican Party||Barbara Leff||22.4%|
|Republican Party||Lindy Funkhouser||22.0%|
|Republican Party||Kathryn Bailue||15.3%|
|Republican Party||Howard Sprague||10.1%|
|Republican Party||C. Rosenstock||3.2%|
|Republican Party||Angelo DeSimone||2.1%|
|1996 Race for Arizona House of Representatives, District 24 - General Election|
|Republican Party||Tom Horne||31.3%|
|Republican Party||Barbara Leff||30.5%|
|Democratic Party||Lynne Sisson||18.2%|
|Democratic Party||Chris Alter||15.8%|
|Libertarian Party||Jim Hamilton||4.3%|
Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Tom Horne's donors each year. Click [show] for more information.
|Tom Horne's Campaign Contributions|
Arizona Attorney General
Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction
Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction
|Total Raised by General Election Opponent||$701,641 (Dem.)||$125,306 (Dem.)||$119,425 (Dem.)|
|Top 5 contributors||Thomas Horne||$389,375||Public Fund||$119,425||Tom Horne||$511,563|
|Bank of America||$2,000||Shannon Chandler Hughes||$130||Arizona Republican Party||$7,500|
|Cash America International||$1,680||Jerry Colangelo||$120||Paradise Valley Fund for Children in Public Education||$3,460|
|Saddlebrooke Republican Club 2010||$1,150||Alicia Alvarez||$120||William Jackimell||$1,400|
|Cox Communications||$1,000||Irving Shuman||$120||Daniel McAuliffe||$1,250|
In addition to receiving six speeding tickets from law enforcement officials over an eighteen month period, including one in a school zone, Horne was issued a criminal citation for violating A.R.S. 28-701.02 A2 on Sunday, October 21, 2007 by the Scottsdale Police Department. The charge came with a maximum possible sentence of six months in jail, three years probation, and a $2,500 fine. Three months later, Horne's lawyer was able to negotiate a plea bargain with the Scottsdale prosecutor, who agreed to drop the criminal traffic offense charge in exchange for Horne pleading guilty to a civil offense for violating A.R.S. 28-701A, a charge that normally applies to drivers going 16 to 20 miles per hour above the speed limit; Horne was cited for going 27 miles per hour over the 45 mph speed limit.
In annual reports filed between 1997 and 2000 on behalf of his private law firm, Horne denied ever having been a partner in a business that went bankrupt. The truth of the matter, however, was that Horne was the president of T.C. Horne & Co., an investment firm created in the late-1960s that went bankrupt in 1970. Three years later, the future attorney general was sanctioned by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charging that he had "willfully aided and abetted" his firm in violating securities laws by submitting false balance sheets and misrepresenting his firm's assets. He was eventually barred for life from associating with brokers, dealers, investment advisers, and investment companies. Horne's Republican primary challenger, Andrew Thomas, contended that "the circumstances surrounding the bankruptcy should disqualify Horne from holding the state's top law-enforcement job."
Attorney General Tom Horne
Office of the Attorney General
1275 West Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007
This section displays the most recent stories in a google news search for the term "Tom + Horne + Arizona + Attorney"
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- Attorney General of Arizona
- Governor of Arizona
- Lieutenant Governor of Arizona
- Arizona Secretary of State
- Official Arizona Attorney General website
- Tom Horne for Arizona Attorney General Campaign website
- Tom Horne's Twitter account
- Project Vote Smart - Tom Horne biography
- Campaign contributions: 2012, 2010, 2008, 2006, 2004, 2002, 2000, 1998, 1996
- The Arizona Republic, "Tom Horne's narrow attorney general victory finishes GOP sweep of Arizona" 11 Nov. 2010
- Arizona Attorney General, "About the Office," accessed June 11, 2013
- Office of the Arizona Attorney General, "AG Horne's Biography," accessed June 6, 2011
- AZcentral.com, "Attorney General Candidate Tom Horne," accessed October 16, 2012
- The Daily Courier, "Arizona Attorney General accused of breaking laws in 2010 campaign," April 2, 2012
- The Business Journal, "FBI investigating Arizona attorney general Tom Horne," April 2, 2012
- Arizona Daily Sun, "Judge throws out charges against AG Tom Horne," May 3, 2013
- Arizona Republic, "Rotellini to run for Arizona AG in ‘14," February 25, 2013
- Arizona Attorney General, "AG Horne's Bio," accessed February 6, 2012
- Seeing Red Arizona, "AZ’s Attorney General’s race: Tom Horne makes intentions official" 19 Feb. 2010
- Phoenix New Times, "Andrew Thomas Set To Concede, Sources Claim; Will Make Statement This Afternoon" 27 Aug. 2010
- Tucson Citizen, "Andrew Thomas prepares to concede to Tom Horne" 27 Aug. 2010
- The Arizona Republic, "Horne's lead over Thomas in AG race down to 536 votes" 27 Aug. 2010
- Arizona Daily Star, "Thomas concedes, backs Horne for AG" 1 Sept. 2010
- The Arizona Star, "AG Horne to defend state's raiding of mortgage-relief funds," May 9, 2012
- CBS News, "AG urged to disobey law on housing cash," May 9, 2012
- AZ Central, "Horne ignores lawsuit threat over mortgage funds," May 9, 2012
- The Business Journal, "FBI investigating Arizona attorney general Tom Horne," April 2, 2012
- Arizona Capitol Times, "FBI investigating Horne for campaign violations," April 2, 2012
- Tom Horne for Attorney General, "Horne Endorses Proposition 106 - Healthcare Freedom Act" 16 Sept. 2010
- Arizona Republic, "Arizona ballot measure sought on health care choices" 27 May, 2009
- KGUN9 "Judge rules against key part of health care reform" 13 Dec. 2010
- Mitt Romney for President, "Mitt Romney Announces Support of Additional Arizona Elected Officials," February 2, 2012
- AZ Central, "Arizona schools superintendent pushes ban on ethnic studies" 12 June, 2009
- FOX News, "Arizona Legislature Passes Bill to Curb 'Chauvanism' in Ethnic Studies Programs" 30 April, 2010
- East Valley Tribune, "Arizona taxpayers spend up to $1.2 billion annually to educate children of illegal immigrants" 17 Feb. 2007
- Arizona Daily Star, "Sheriffs: Are you in school legally?" 28 April, 2009
- Sonoran Alliance, "Tom Horne Runs From Amnesty But Can’t Hide Support" 11 June, 2010
- Oyez - Plyler v. Doe summary
- Lighthouse Blog, "Why hasn't Tom Horne for AG caught on with Republicans?" 9 March, 2009
- Sonoran Alliance, "Thomas Will Defend AZ School Choice Issue Now Before U.S. Supreme Court Horne Opposed" 25 May, 2010
- Arizona Republic, "All eyes on 2014 race for governor," November 11, 2012
- abc15.com, "Arizona Election Results," accessed August 27, 2014
- Governing, "The 2013-2014 Attorneys General Races: Who's Vulnerable?," March 25, 2013
- Arizona Secretary of State - Official Results of 2010 Primary Election
- Arizona Secretary of State - 2010 General Election Results
- Arizona Secretary of State - Official Results of 2006 Primary Election
- Arizona Secretary of State - Official Results of 2006 General Election
- Arizona Secretary of State - Official Results of 2002 Primary Election
- Arizona Secretary of State - Official Results of 2002 General Election
- Arizona Secretary of State - Official Results of 1998 Primary Election
- Arizona Secretary of State - Official Results of 1998 General Election
- Arizona Secretary of State - Official Results of 1996 Primary Election
- Arizona Secretary of State - Official Results of 1996 General Election
- Follow the Money.org
- The Arizona Republic, "Horne has gotten 6 speeding tickets in past 1 1/2 years" 21 Aug. 2009
- Sonoran Alliance, "Andrew Thomas Reduced Plea Bargains; Tom Horne Agreed To One" 8 June, 2010
- The Arizona Republic, "Attorney-general candidate Tom Horne denied 1970 bankruptcy" 20 June, 2010
|Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction
| Succeeded by|
John Huppenthal (R)
Terry Goddard (D)
|Arizona Attorney General
| Succeeded by|