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Heiler had been exploring a run prior to Jeff Flake’s withdrawal from the race earlier this week, and told reporters Tuesday that Flake’s withdrawal had sped up his timetable.
“We are moving down the tracks,” Heiler said. “I’m very proud to announce this outstanding group of Arizonans who make up the beginning of a committee in support of my candidacy. The voters will recognize them as people of great accomplishment who have contributed concrete things to Arizona and to our great nation. We expect to continue adding many more names to this list in the days ahead.”
Heiler has long been active in public and civic service, but has never before sought public office. He is founder and chairman of GreatHearts, a not-for-profit operator of the GreatHearts Academies, one of the nation’s leading charter school organizations with nearly 13,000 students in high-performing k-12 schools in Arizona, and 2,500 in Texas. He was appointed by Gov Jan Brewer to the Arizona Board of Regents in 2012, and served as chairman in 2015-2016. He was chief of staff to Gov Fife Symington, and served him for five-and-a-half years in advancing a broad and highly successful conservative policy agenda in education (charter schools, open enrollment, school performance accountability) , criminal justice (Truth-in-Sentencing and the abolition of parole; the Stop Juvenile Crime Initiative; prison litigation reform, concealed carry, etc); significant reduction of personal income taxes (from a top marginal rate of 7.5 percent to below 5 percent); federalism and states rights; and a range of other critical Arizona policy fields. Prior to that he also was assistant editor of the editorial pages of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Virginia’s newspaper of record, and assistant attorney General under Bob Corbin in Arizona. Finally, he has served for the past decade as chairman of the Arizona Charter Schools Association, as the state has become home to the nation’s largest market share for charter school in enrollment, 17 percent, and about 180,000 students.
Heiler came to Arizona in 1978 to attend college at Arizona State University, and then law school. He and his wife Carol, an Arizona native, have raised five children, Joe, Sam, Teresa, George and Ben, ages 26 to 18.
“My family and I love our state, and we are grateful to live in the greatest country the world has seen,” Heiler said. “I have worked to advance Arizona in every way I know how as both a private citizen and a public servant. Today more than ever politics and politicians are full of endless talk, but I am a conservative reformer who has achieved results to prove it. This will simply be a new chapter and a new service, if the people honor me with their vote. I very much look forward to the debate.”
Chairman – Gov. Jan Brewer Treasurer – Gov. Fife Symington Foster Friess
Karrin Taylor Robson
Bob Mulhern, Managing Director, Colliers Rich Wilson, CEO Trademark Construction Maria Baier, Phoenix Suns
Representative Don Shooter
Representative Maria Syms