MESA — Calling him the heir to her legacy, Gov. Jan Brewer this morning formally endorsed former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith to be her successor.

At an event at the Chicago Cubs spring training facility, Brewer said Smith supports the same things she does. That includes Medicaid expansion and the Common Core education standards.

Brewer acknowledged her move comes more than a week after early voting started for the Aug. 26 Republican primary. But she said her timing will provide Smith with the momentum he needs to overtake presumed front-runner Doug Ducey.

Smith also brushed aside the fact that it took Brewer more time to back him than it did for her to give her support to Michele Reagan for secretary of state and Randy Pullen for treasurer.

But Smith said those who already have voted probably had made up their minds early on and would not have been swayed by Brewer's endorsement. He said, though, her move should help convince undecided Republicans to support him.