Ken Bennett

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Ken Bennett
Ken Bennett.jpg
Current candidacy
Running for Governor of Arizona
Date of primaryAugust 26, 2014
Current office
Arizona Secretary of State
In office
2009 - present
Term ends
January 5, 2015
Years in position 6
PredecessorJan Brewer (R)
Base salary$70,000
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$628,122
AppointedJanuary 9, 2009
Appointed byGov. Jan Brewer
Term limits2 consecutive terms
Prior offices
Arizona State Senate
High schoolPrescott High School (1977)
Bachelor'sArizona State University (1984)
Date of birthAugust 1, 1959
Place of birthTucson, Arizona
ReligionChurch of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Office website
Campaign website
Ken Bennett (born August 1, 1959, in Tucson, Arizona) is the current Republican Arizona Secretary of State. He was appointed to the position by former Secretary of State Jan Brewer (R), who ascended to the governorship following the resignation of Janet Napolitano in January 2009. [1] He first won election to a full term as secretary in 2010, and term-limited from seeking re-election to the post in 2014.[2]

Bennett began his political career in 1985 as a member of the Prescott City Council. He was later named mayor pro-tempore, then on to the Arizona State Charter Schools Board, eventually advancing to the position of state legislator. In 2002, Bennett was the Republican Floor Leader for the Arizona State Senate. He served as Senate president for his final years (2003-2007) before reaching the office's four-term term limit.[3]

Bennett is a lifelong Arizona resident, with the exception of serving a couple years as a missionary in Southern Japan before University. His over 25 year career of mingled public service and private business includes working as a CEO of Bennett Oil Company, a family fuel-distribution business (of which he is still member of its board of directors)

In 2007, Bennett received the Polly Rosenbaum Award from the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records for his "support of the State Library's mission to preserve Arizona's history and to provide access to information on the state."[3]

Ineligible to seek another consecutive term as secretary of state, Bennett announced September 18, 2013 that he ran for election as Governor of Arizona in 2014.[4] He has yet to file his candidate paperwork due to the state law requiring officials to step down from their current posts if they wish to embark on a campaign for a different office before the last year of their term. Bennett's declared entry into the race to replace term-limited Republican incumbent Jan Brewer occurred in the aftermath of the state legislature's revisions to the "resign-to-run" law, making it possible for the first time since 1980 for officeholders like Bennett to be straightforward about their upcoming bids, legally, without having to leave office. Prior to the 2013 approval of these revisions under House Bill 2157, any such acknowledgement of future candidacy, short of formal filing, warranted an officeholder to resign.[5] Bennett is expected to file next year when the rule no longer applies, and he said he plans to serve out the remainder of his term as secretary of state.[6]


Bennett was born in Tucson, grew up in Prescott, and attended Arizona State University in Tempe, where he earned his degree in accounting in 1984. Prior to entering politics, Bennett was CEO of Bennett Oil Company from 1984-2006, and served on the Prescott Economic Development Comm. Board of Directors, in addition to several other roles demonstrating his activeness within the community, including:[7][8]

  • Coach, Prescott Little League and AYSO Soccer (1989-1995)
  • Director, Prescott Chamber of Commerce (1991-1993)
  • Scout Master, Volunteer, Boy Scouts of America (1993-1998)
  • Former Director, Education Leaders Council (1995-present)
  • Board Member, Western Regional Medical Center, Cancer Treatment Centers of America (present)

Bennett receives $24,000 annually for his work on the board of Cancer Treatment Centers of America. The time he spends working with them varies each month.[9]


  • Prescott High School (1977)
  • Attended Yavapai College (1981 President’s Scholarship)
  • B.S., Arizona State University (1984) in accounting

Political career

Arizona Secretary of State (2009-present)

See also: Ballotpedia Q&A with Bennett

Previous officeholder and fellow Republican Jan Brewer appointed Bennett as her successor in January, 2009 upon her election to the Governor's office. He was elected to a full term in 2010.[7] As Secretary of State for Arizona, Bennett will take over the position of governor if it becomes vacant. This has happened five times, the most recently with Janet Napolitano, the current governor and former Secretary of State.[10]


In early 2012, Bennett coordinated with Attorney General of Arizona Tom Horne and Representative Eddie Farnsworth on a bill promoting transparency in the financing of campaigns. The legislation, House Bill 2385, addressed inadequate campaign finance regulations as well as a group called “Citizens United” organizations. The bill sought to "ensure the integrity of Arizona's electoral process by expanding corporate disclosure requirements."[11]

Bennett also changed a law that required state agencies to file a paper notice of where a public meeting notice will be posted. "Agencies will establish a notice area on their Web site creating transparency in government."[12]

Bennett addresses his staff

Updating office operations

Bennett upgraded the office's paper filing systems with an electronic system for improved efficiency and accuracy in processing records and election data. He also updated the Secretary of State website to meet to state layout standards. The new site archives all office and election information, and is more user-friendly, making information more accessible and transparent to Arizona constituents.

Presidential preference


See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

Ken Bennett endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. [13]



See also: Arizona gubernatorial election, 2014

Bennett is barred by term limits from running for re-election as secretary of state in 2014. In 2011, he began exploring a possible 2014 run for Governor of Arizona, and redirected his 2010 campaign website to, though which his campaign committee got an early start organizing events, volunteers, and fundraising for the election in 2014.[14] Bennett tweeted "Before you hear it from somewhere else, I formed an exploratory committee for Governor in 2014. Looking forward to everyone's feedback!"[15]

Bennett finally announced his candidacy for governor on September 18, 2013.[4] He sought the Republican nomination in the primary on August 26, 2014. The general election took place November 4, 2014.


See also: Arizona Secretary of State election, 2010
  • 2010 Race for Secretary of State - Republican Primary
  • Ken Bennett ran unopposed in this contest
2010 Race for Secretary of State - General Election [16]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda Ken Bennett 58.2%
     Democratic Party Chris Deschene 41.8%
Total Votes 1,661,065

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Bennett is available dating back to 1996. Based on available campaign finance records, Bennett raised a total of $898,123 during that time period. This information was last updated on June 4, 2014.[17]

Ken Bennett's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Arizona Secretary of State Not up for election $7,390
2010 Arizona Secretary of State Won $483,618
2004 Arizona State Senate District 1 Won $300,775
2002 Arizona State Senate District 1 $49,232
2000 Arizona State Senate District 1 Won $17,950
1998 Arizona State Senate District 1 Won $34,511
1996 Arizona House of Representatives District 1 Defeated $4,647
Grand Total Raised $898,123

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 Ken Bennett's donors each year.[18] Click [show] for more information.


Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett Budget Presentation Part 1

Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett Budget Presentation Part 2

Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett Budget Presentation Part 3

Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett Budget Presentation Part 4


Ken Bennett currently resides in Prescott, Arizona with his wife, Jeanne, and their three children - Ryan, Dana, and Clif. He is a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.[7]

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Contact information


Capitol Address:
1700 West Washington Street, 7th Floor
Phoenix, AZ 85007-2888

Phone: (602) 542-4285
Toll Phone: (602) 255-8683
Fax: (602) 542-1575

Arizona State Complex Building
400 West Congress, 2nd Floor, Room 252
Tucson, AZ 85701

Phone: 520-628-6583
Fax: 520-628-6938

See also

External links

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Political offices
Preceded by
Jan Brewer (R)
Arizona Secretary of State
Succeeded by