#azright On Sep 13, I'll be able to drop the words "Exploratory Cte" from my campaign for Governor of Arizona. The campaign is going great.
— Al Melvin (@SenatorMelvin) September 5, 2013
The reference to September 13 is the effective date of HB2157 passed during the 2013 regular legislative session and signed by Gov. Brewer on April 30.
HB2157 changes two sections of Arizona Revised Statutes. Section 16-903 is changed by removing the language in red:
An elected official is not deemed to have offered himself for nomination or election to an officeSection 38-296 is changed by striking the language in red and adding the language in BLUE (and ALL CAPS)
or to have made a formal, public declaration of candidacywithin the meaning of section 38‑296 solely by his designation of a candidate campaign committee.
B. An incumbent of a salaried elected office shall be deemed to have offered himself for nomination or election to a salaried local, state or federal officeThe date of Captain Al's tweet is significant. Had he made his public declaration one day earlier, he would have been subject to being thrown out of office.
uponON the filing of a nomination paper pursuant to section 16‑311, subsection A or formal public declaration of candidacy for such office whichever occurs first. AN INCUMBENT OF A SALARIED ELECTED OFFICE IS NOT DEEMED TO HAVE OFFERED HIMSELF FOR NOMINATION OR ELECTION TO AN OFFICE BY MAKING A FORMAL DECLARATION OF CANDIDACY FOR THE OFFICE.
Section 38-296 further says:
C. The resignation of the incumbent elective officer duly filed in writing with the officer, board or commission having jurisdiction of the office
shall, if not accepted within ten days, SHALL be deemed to have become effective as of the date of filing.
D. This section shall not be construed to prohibit a person whose resignation from office has become effective from qualifying as a candidate for another office during the unexpired portion of the term affected by the resignation, nor shall it apply to any incumbent elective officer who seeks
re‑electionREELECTION to the same office or to any other public office during the final year of the term to which heTHE PERSON has been so elected.
E. A person violating any provision of this section is guilty of misfeasance in office, and the office held by such person shall be declared vacant.Since HB2157 will be effective on September 13 and since before the bill becomes effective, a violation of the Resign to Run law (subsection C) seems to trigger an automatic resignation provision, according to subsection E, the office "shall be declared vacant."
It seems reasonable to surmise, therefore, that Melvin has been champing at the bit to make this public declaration and did so on the first day it would be safe for him to do so without jeopardizing his senate seat.
Welcome to the race for governor, Al!