A former GoDaddy executive filed nominating petitions last week to enter the Republican primary for governor of Arizona. Christine Jones, a former legal counsel for the Scottsdale-based website hosting company, submitted her paperwork on Tuesday, the opening day of the regular filing period for the August primary.
Jones, who calls herself an "unapologetic conservative," endorses gun rights, border security and the elimination of federal meddling in school policy. Jones, 45, was hired by GoDaddy in 2002 as an in-house attorney, when the Internet domain registrar had only a couple dozen employees. Jones left GoDaddy in 2011 after the sale of its parent company, Go Daddy Group Inc., to private investors for $2.25 billion, but still maintains ties as a consultant.
GoDaddy is planning for its initial public offering later this year, and has hired Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase to coordinate the stock sale. GoDaddy had previously filed for an IPO in 2006, but later cancelled it due to "market uncertainties." GoDaddy, well-known for its zany television ads, was founded in 1997 as Jomax Technologies by former U.S. Marine Bob Parsons, and became the largest ICANN-accredited registrar on the Internet by 2005.
Here global supertalent Jean-Claude Van Damme appears as a GoDaddy spokesmodel:
Jones, who is running without any public funding, commented at a Phoenix press conference, "Let's encourage job growth by getting the government out of the way. Let's strive for excellence in education by applying Arizona standards, not federal standards. And importantly, let's enforce immigration law with no amnesty. If you stand up to the federal government ... you can actually make a difference."
Jones is ready to drop millions of dollars on her campaign, and is already running television spots in the Phoenix area. She is running against a loaded field of Republicans, most of whom identify as conservatives, including former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, Arizona state Treasurer Doug Ducey, Arizona state Sen. Al Melvin, former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and former California congressman Frank Riggs.
Jones said to supporters, "You are ready for a leader that is not a career politician, someone who will lead with no strings attached. I am an unapologetic conservative, I am a fierce defender of the Constitution, and as your governor, I assure you I will lead with untethered ideas."
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