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GOP gubernatorial candidates relying on geography

PHOENIX -- Two Republican candidates for Arizona governor in an already crowded field could have a critical advantage thanks to support close to home.

The Arizona Capitol Times reports ( that with at least seven contenders in the Republican primary in August, a candidate could require as little as 14 percent of the vote to win.

The low figures mean Mesa Mayor Scott Smith and Secretary of State Ken Bennett could get a significant geographical boost because of their name recognition locally.

Political observers say Smith has strong name identification in Mesa and its surrounding suburbs.

They say Bennett has a great deal of support from Prescott and Yavapai County, where he started out politically.

But others say some conservatives may not flock to Smith, who is viewed as moderate.

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