Aug 4, 2012 6:56 PM

Election dustups could ruffle Bennett's ambitions

PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett holds an office normally associated with dry-as-dust election matters.

But Bennett's handling of two recent controversies could complicate the ambitions of the former legislative leader who may run for governor in 2014.

Bennett raised eyebrows even among Republicans by suggesting that questions about President Barack Obama's birthplace might somehow keep Obama off Arizona's ballot.

Bennett then drew the ire of backers of a proposed sales tax increase by declaring initiative petitions invalid because of a paperwork error.

Bennett says he charted his path on both issues in good faith - to serve constituents who requested action and to defend the integrity of the initiative process.

However, some political operatives say Bennett opened the door to attacks based on questions about his motivation and judgment.


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