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PHOENIX -- Mesa Mayor Scott Smith is officially in the crowded race for the Republican nomination for Arizona governor.

Smith filed paperwork to enter the race Thursday morning at the state Capitol and said his experience as a business leader and leader of the state's third-largest city makes him a standout choice for the nomination.

Smith is joining a Republican primary election field that includes Secretary of State Ken Bennett and Treasurer Doug Ducey. Others seeking the GOP nomination included former Go Daddy legal counsel Christine Jones, state Sen. Al Melvin and former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas.

The Republican primary winner will likely face Democrat Fred DuVal in the November general election. DuVal is a former Board of Regents member and a former gubernatorial aide.

Smith has until June to collect 5,000 signatures to get on the GOP primary ballot. When the nomination petition is submitted, he or she has to leave the office. The vice mayor will fill in. If more than two years are left in the term, there will be a special election.

KTAR's Jim Cross contributed to this article.

Associated Press,

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