After retiring from a job heading up a homebuilding company for about a decade, Scott Smith spent six years as mayor of Mesa, where he developed a reputation as a problem solver and networked well enough to be elected the president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Smith has adopted positions on hot-button issues that put him at odds with the party’s base. He is the only candidate in the race to support Gov. Jan Brewer’s decision to expand the state’s Medicaid program last year. The expansion was fiercely opposed by most Republican lawmakers and the GOP base because they viewed it as an expansion of Obamacare, but the healthcare industry and nearly all the chambers of commerce support it because it brought billions of federal dollars to the state to support hospitals, clinics and other healthcare providers.
Smith had raised more than $1 million for his campaign as of May 31 and spent about $200,000.