Max Hawkins, a former state employee and aide to ex-Gov. Evan Mecham, said Thursday he will run for governor as a write-in candidate.

Hawkins scheduled a news conference Friday to make his formal announcement.He said his "greatest reason" for running was because the major parties' nominees, Republican Fife Symington and Democrat Terry Goddard, both are pro-choice on abortion.

"The pro-life people are terribly upset that the two major parties have furnished us with a couple of pro-choice candidates," Hawkins said.

Hawkins, a Republican, said Symington "is completely out of whack with the national platform."

"Symington has said viability is the test, that it's OK to do whatever you want to do, ladies, in the first trimester," Hawkins said.

He said the pro-life people approached him about running as an alternative candidate after trying unsuccessfully to change Symington's position.

Hawkins said, however, that he would not be a one-issue candidate.

"I think I'm more qualified by giant leaps and bounds than Symington or Goddard," he said. "I've got maturity, I'm a little older, maybe not as good-looking, but I'm 58 and have served under four governors. I think I can trim the budget substantially."

Under a new law, a candidate must get more than 50 percent of the vote in a general election to be elected governor. The law was adopted after Mecham's 1988 impeachment, following his election with 40 percent of the vote in a three-way race in 1986.

Hawkins said he views the new law as "silliness in the Legislature, all part of a grand game to whip up on Evan Mecham a little bit."

But, he said the law doesn't worry him.

"I think we'll win this thing 50-plus-one," he said. "I feel good about it."

Hawkins said he probably would spend $20,000 on his campaign, compared with millions by both Symington and Goddard.