Newspaper poll shows one-quarter of Arizonans think Gov. should resign

The Associated Press

PHOENIX While half of Arizonans say their opinion of Gov. Fife Symington as a leader hasn't changed with his filing for personal bankruptcy, one-quarter of them think Symington should resign, a poll shows.

The poll, conducted for The Arizona Republic and The Phoenix Gazette newspapers, also showed that twice as many people said they wouldn't reelect Symington as those who said they would.

The statewide poll, conducted by Innovative Query Inc., was taken Thursday and Friday following Symington's announcement on Wednesday that he would file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It is based on telephone conversations with 400 people.

Fifty-two percent of those people interviewed said their confidence in Symington's ability to lead the state had not been shaken by the fact that he had filed for bankruptcy, while 42 percent said that it had. Six percent said they didn't know.

Fifty-six percent of those polled said they would not vote for Symington, while 27 percent said they would. Seventeen percent were undecided.

''(If) he runs again, he's really brazen, he's got no pride at all,'' said Carl Clark, 67, a Democrat from St. David who responded to the poll. ''I think he's just pulling everybody's leg about being broke. He just wants everyone else to pay his bills.''

Forty percent of respondents said the bankruptcy filing overshadowed Symington's record as a governor, but 46 percent said it did not.

''It makes me think less of him,'' said Michele Kurdziel, 28, a Scottsdale Independent. ''You're the same person; your personal and professional lives are all tied together. If he makes such major, major mistakes in his personal life, you have to wonder how he looks at things publicly. I don't think I could vote for him again.''

Symington spokesman Doug Cole said the governor's only response to the poll was typical of his feeling toward all public opinion polls: ''The only poll that counts is at the ballot box,'' Cole said.

Cole would not say whether Symington had decided if he were going to run again, adding that the governor is focusing on policy initiatives which he plans to introduce when the legislative session begins in January.

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