Ken Bennett

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Ken Bennett
Ken Bennett by Gage Skidmore 4.jpg
Bennett in 2015
19th Secretary of State of Arizona
In office
January 26, 2009 – January 5, 2015
Governor Jan Brewer
Preceded by Jan Brewer
Succeeded by Michele Reagan
President of the Arizona Senate
In office
January 2003 – January 2007
Preceded by Randall Gnant
Succeeded by Tim Bee
Member of the Arizona Senate from the 30th district
In office
January 1999 – January 2007
Personal details
Born (1959-08-01) August 1, 1959 (age 57)
Tucson, Arizona, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Jeanne Tenney
Children 3
Alma mater Yavapai College
Arizona State University
Religion Mormonism

Ken Bennett (born August 1, 1959) is a Republican politician and businessman who served as president of the Arizona Senate, and served as the 19th Secretary of State of Arizona, from 2009 to 2015.

Early life[edit]

Ken Bennett was born in Tucson, Arizona.[1] His parents moved to Prescott shortly thereafter, where he was raised and later graduated from Prescott High School.[1] Upon graduation, Bennett served a two-year mission in southern Japan, and remains an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[1]

In 1981, he graduated from Yavapai College under the President’s Scholarship.[1][2] He then transferred to Arizona State University (ASU) in Tempe, graduating with Bachelor’s in Accounting.[3][4]

Business career[edit]

Bennett began work for Bennett Oil Company, a fuel distribution business in northern Arizona, in 1984.[1] Initially working in finance, Bennett was eventually hired as the Chief Executive Officer, where he remained until 2006.[1][4][5]

In addition, he sits on the Board of Directors for Global Building Systems Inc.,[6] a sustainable building systems company, as well as Treasurer on the Board of Directors of Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

Public service[edit]

Bennett was elected to the Prescott City Council in 1985 and served as Mayor Pro Tem in 1988.[4][7] He was appointed to the Arizona State Board of Education in 1992, serving as president in 1996 and 1998.[8]

In 1998 he was elected to the Arizona State Senate, serving four two-year terms, the second as Chairman of the Education Committee, and the third and fourth as President of the Senate (2003–2007).[1]

When Jan Brewer ascended from Arizona Secretary of State to Governor upon Janet Napolitano's resignation to become United States Secretary of Homeland Security, Bennett was selected as the new Secretary of State, being sworn in on January 26, 2009.[4][9] Upon completing that term, Bennett won election to a full term as Secretary of State in the November 2010 with 59% of the vote.[10]

Later politics[edit]

Bennett officially announced his intention to run for Governor on November 12, 2013.[4][11] Bennett came in fourth in the six-way republican primary, gaining 11.45 percent of the vote and losing to Doug Ducey.[12]

In 2015, Bennett announced his intention to run for Congress in Arizona's 1st Congressional district.[13][14] He was endorsed by the Arizona Republic.[15] On August 30, 2016 he lost the Republican primary to Sheriff Paul Babeu.

Personal life[edit]

He met his wife Jeanne at ASU, and the two were married in 1982.[1] They have three grown children – Ryan, Dana and Clifton – and two grandsons.[1]

In a 2006 prosecution, Bennet's son Clifton and another man admitted to sodomizing at least 18 boys in over 40 separate hazing incidents with broom sticks.[16] The plea deal became controversial when Clifton, only 17 years old and a minor, plead guilty to one count of aggravated assault with no obligation to register as a sex offender. Clifton was sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years probation. Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, said he "had questions about the handling of the case," but that his office had no authority to intervene.[17] Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk defended the plea bargain and accused the news media of misrepresenting the issue.[18]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Arizona State Legislature: Ken Bennett
  2. ^ Yavapai College: Alumni Directory
  3. ^ Alumni Politicians
  4. ^ a b c d e Linda Bentley, Field of six vying for governor in Republican Primary, Sonoran News, August 06, 2014
  5. ^ Our Campaigns: Ken Bennett
  6. ^ Global Building Systems: Board of Directors
  7. ^ Ken Hedler, Former Senator Ken Bennett bows out of congressional race, The Daily Courier, September 06, 2007
  8. ^ Editorial: Ken Bennett’s aspirations to serve as governor good news for Arizona, Verde Independent, 5/29/2012
  9. ^ Casey Newton, Brewer picks Ken Bennett for sec. of state, The Arizona Republic, January 09, 2009
  10. ^ Arizona Secretary of State biography
  11. ^ Campaign website
  12. ^ "Unofficial Results Primary Election". Arizona Secretary of State. Archived from the original on October 2, 2014. Retrieved August 28, 2014. 
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ Anglen, Robert. "Families outraged at legislator's son's plea deal". The Arizona Republic. Archived from the original on 18 July 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  17. ^ "Goddard questions handling of Yavapai camp 'hazing' case". 2006-04-07. Archived from the original on 2012-07-19. Retrieved 2010-09-04. 
  18. ^ "Press Release/Letter to Editor". 2006-04-04. Archived from the original on 2012-07-19. Retrieved 2010-09-04. 
Arizona Senate
Preceded by
Randall Gnant
President of the Arizona Senate
Succeeded by
Tim Bee
Political offices
Preceded by
Jan Brewer
Secretary of State of Arizona
Succeeded by
Michele Reagan