Horne Loses Republican Primary for Arizona AG

     PHOENIX (CN) – Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne lost a primary battle Tuesday against a Republican challenger, ending his controversial career as the state’s top prosecutor.
     Mark Brnovich, the former director of the Arizona Department of Gaming and onetime employee of Corrections Corp. of America, bested Horne in a primary election that attracted 22 percent of voters.
     Brnovich received 52 percent, or about 223,000 votes, while Horne drew 46 percent, or about 198,000 votes, according to unofficial results from the Arizona secretary of state.
     The Goldwater Institute, a conservative think tank that exerts some influence in the state Legislature, is another of Brnovich’s former employers. The general election will pit Brnovich up against Felicia Rotellni, a Democrat who lost to Horne in 2010.
     Horne meanwhile faces an investigation by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and others after a former staffer accused the prosecutor of using his office for campaign purposes.
     In a lawsuit filed late last month, Horne had argued that County Attorney Bill Montgomery’s vocal support of Brnovich demanded that another agency handle his investigation.
     Horne later moved for a restraining order to stop Montgomery and his office from investigating allegations that Horne’s employees used state time to seek campaign donations for his re-election bid.
     Superior Court Judge Mark Brain denied Horne’s request on Aug. 11, calling the lawsuit’s chances “modest at best.”
     Horne is also fighting an ongoing investigation by Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk into alleged campaign violations from 2010.
     Arizona State Treasurer Doug Ducey, founder of Cold Stone Creamery, won the Republican nomination for governor. He will face Democrat Fred Duval in the general election.
     Neither Horne nor Brnovich immediately returned a request for comment.

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