Former Arizona Supreme Court Justice Andrew Gould has joined the race for attorney general.
The Yuma Republican filed a statement of interest and campaign committee paperwork with the Secretary of State’s Office on April 14, which will allow him to begin raising money and engage in other campaign-related activities. He said he plans to make a more formal announcement for his campaign in the fall.
Gould, whom Ducey appointed to the bench in 2016, retired from the Supreme Court in March amid rumors that he was planning to run for attorney general. Arizona’s rules of judicial conduct prohibit sitting judges from campaigning for office.
“I think the AG’s office is certainly one of the most important offices in the state. I think it has a key role in protecting the rights of citizens in Arizona. I’ve spent over 30 years as an attorney and judge doing that very thing, protecting the rights of Arizona citizens. And so I think I’m well suited for the job,” Gould told the Arizona Mirror.
It’s rare for a Supreme Court justice to seek an elected office, but after 20 years on the bench, Gould said he’s interested in serving the public in other ways.
“We need to continue to have strong Republican leadership in the AG’s office,” he said.
Gould was a prosecutor in Maricopa and Yuma counties before taking the bench as a Yuma County Superior Court judge in 2001. Former Gov. Jan Brewer appointed him to the Arizona Court of Appeals in 2011, and Ducey appointed him to the Supreme Court in November 2016.
Gould is the second candidate to join the race for attorney general in the past week. Eloy cotton farmer and attorney Tiffany Shedd is also seeking the Republican nomination for the office.
Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who was elected in 2014 and re-elected in 2018, is termed out and ineligible to run again, leaving an open race for one of the state’s most high-profile and prestigious offices.