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Updated Aug 7, 2014 - 10:42 am

Gov. Jan Brewer endorses former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith

(KTAR Photo/Jim Cross)

PHOENIX -- Gov. Jan Brewer believes former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith is the best candidate to take her place.

At an event held Thursday at Cubs Park in Mesa, Ariz., Brewer endorsed Smith for governor in the Republican primary.

"It's time to pass the torch on to the next person to lead our beloved state," Brewer said. "... Scott Smith ... has left his city better than when he found it. He didn't shy away from leading in a time of crisis and most importantly, he told the citizens the truth.

"That's what we need in our next governor and that's why I'm endorsing Mayor Scott Smith in the Republican primary."

With both Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Sarah Palin throwing their support behind Republican hopeful Doug Ducey, the endorsement by Brewer should bring some much-needed attention to Smith.

Paul Bentz, vice president of accounts and strategy for HighGround, told News/Talk 92.3 KTAR's Rob & Karie on Wednesday that Brewer's endorsement would be worth about 10 points in the polls.

"The last survey we did had her about a 65 percent approval rating among Republicans," he said. "I think that would definitely be a game-changer."

According to a July poll, Smith has only 16 percent of the voters' support, trailing behind fellow Republican candidate Christine Jones, as well as Ducey; however, 50 percent of Republican voters said they were still undecided.

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