Ousted Gov. Evan Mecham announced Tuesday on the first anniversary of his impeachment conviction that he would try to regain the governorship in the 1990 election.
Mecham, a Republican who sought the governorship five times before being elected in 1986, made his announcement to a cheering crowd of about 500 supporters at a Phoenix hotel. As he did in his 1986 campaign, Mecham said his theme would be to replace the "power brokers" and "restore the power of government back to the people."Despite the controversy sparked by Mecham's impeachment and conviction by a legislature controlled by his own party, Mecham said the Republican Party in Arizona is still very healthy and predicted in next year's election GOP voters would outnumber Democrats by at least 150,000.
Mecham, who spent much of his 50-minute speech quoting the Founding Fathers, also borrowed a phrase from President Bush by calling for a "kindler, gentler Arizona."
Mecham, the first U.S. governor ousted from office since Henry S. Johnston of Oklahoma in 1929, said he had been the object of "more venemous and hateful name calling than almost anyone . . . but it hasn't done me any damage." Mecham said his lawyers had concluded "I committed no impeachable offense."
Also on Tuesday, Mecham asked the state Senate to grant him a new impeachment trial, charging that some senators were biased against him when they ousted him from office one year ago. The request for a new trial was filed hours before an "Arizona Day of Infamy" party at which Mecham announced his plans.
In documents filed with the Senate and with Supreme Court Chief Justice Frank X. Gordon Jr., who presided at the impeachment trial, Mecham asked the Senate to reconvene as a Court of Impeachment.
Senate Majority Leader John Mawhinney, R-Tucson, said Tuesday that Mecham's filing was "nothing but an effort to create a circus atmosphere" for Mecham's announcement.