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Smith: Could Frank Riggs whip Steven Seagal?

Frank Riggs, a Republican businessman and former Sonoma County deputy sheriff, ran for Congress against four-term Democratic Rep. Doug Bosco in 1990. Darned if Riggs didn't win.

Along with fellow freshmen John Boehner and Rick Santorum, Riggs made a mark on the Hill by cleaning House amid the scandal over fellow lawmakers' banking abuses.

But Riggs was still settling into Congress when Democrat Dan Hamburg, now a Mendocino County supervisor, unseated him after a single term. Riggs mounted a rematch in '94 and won, then served two terms before yielding his office to Democratic state Sen. Mike Thompson, who's occupied it ever since.

Riggs and his wife, Cathy, a former Santa Rosa police officer, quit Sonoma County for more Republican-friendly Scottsdale, Ariz., in 2002. He announced in '06 that he would run for governor against Democratic incumbent Janet Napolitano.

Then somebody told Riggs he wasn't legally qualified to run for governor because he hadn't lived in Arizona for five years. So much for that campaign.

Napolitano won. As we all know, she stepped down in '09 to become U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and now she's president of the University of California.

And Frank Riggs? He promotes charter schools and he has just announced that this year he really will run for governor of Arizona.

Already he has plenty of company in the race. And action-movie actor Steven Seagal, a pal of tough-guy Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, mused recently that he may run. Arpaio says he might, too.

Unfortunately for the actor, somebody told him that he, like Riggs several years back, doesn't yet meet the state's residency requirement.

Arizona needs to amend its "Welcome!" signs to read, "Drive safely and remember, you must live here five years before running for governor."


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