By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times
Gubernatorial hopeful Ken Bennett is asking a judge to give him one last chance to qualify for public funding for his campaign.
The lawsuit filed in Maricopa County Superior Court contends that the Secretary of State’s Office shut down the online portal for people to make $5 donations that would entitle him to $839,704 in his bid to be the Republican nominee at 5 p.m. Tuesday. But he said Arizona law set the deadline for donations at midnight that night.
Bennett said he already has 3,995 donations. And he contends that he would have had the minimum 4,000 — and more — if the web site had not gone dark.
Representing himself, Bennett wants Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Connie Contes to direct the site to be reopened for at least four hours. He told Capitol Media Services that will give campaign volunteers a chance to contact people who had said they would have given but for problems with the portal.
And he wants Contes to order the Citizens Clean Elections Commission, which administers the public funding to accept these late donations even though they come after the deadline.
A hearing is set for Monday morning.