Marlene Pearce is District 4 administrator. Submitted photo

The race to replace Anthony Smith is widening. Three candidates have now announced an intention to run for Pinal County supervisor in District 4.

Marlene Pearce, who originally intended to run for Maricopa City Council, is now seeking the nomination for supervisor. She has been the district administrator eight years.

“I have worked with Supervisor Smith since taking office in 2013, and have been instrumental in the progress we have made in providing the best in services and resources for our constituents,” she said in a statement released Thursday.

District 4 extends from Maricopa in the northwest to Saddlebrooke in the southeast. She joins Jeffrey McClure and Dan Frank. Only McClure, a Republican, has a statement of organization on file.

Pearce has the endorsement of Smith.

“There is nobody better suited to be the next County Supervisor than Marlene Pearce,” he said in a statement. “Marlene is a natural problem solver with a vast knowledge of county government and will do what it takes to see that the county reaches the next level of opportunity. Marlene Pearce gets my endorsement and I hope she will get yours.”

Had Pearce continued her campaign for city council, a nonpartisan race, one of her fellow candidates would have been incumbent Nancy Smith, Anthony Smith’s wife.

Pearce is on the executive board of United Way of Pinal County. She previously served on the Legislative Committee for the Western Pinal Association of Realtors.

Her job as district administrator was previously titled assistant to the supervisor but was changed in 2018, allowing  higher pay. In that capacity, she said, she has worked with county and municipal staffs, Arizona Department of Transportation and Bureau of Land Management “for road acquisitions and improvements across the district.”

Pearce has lived in the county 15 years.

“A key attribute that has always been important was to be accessible,” she said in the statement. “I have consistently been part of our Town Hall and Sessions with the Supervisor events. I pride myself in being the main point of contact for all our constituents’ thoughts and concerns.  The mantra for the District has always been “working to improve the quality of life for our citizens”, and I am committed to continue on that path.”

At this time, the only other county race with announced election competition is in the assessor’s office, where Michael Cruz is challenging incumbent Douglas Wolf in the Republican primary.

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