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Plan Bee: Senate Leader Opens Exploratory Effort

State Senate President Tim Bee (R) has taken the first step toward challenging Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) in the 8th district, launching an exploratory committee that will allow him to raise money for a potential bid.

Giffords defeated former state Rep. Randy Graf (R) in the GOP-leaning Tucson-area district last year and is a favorite to win re-election in 2008. However, Republicans are excited at the prospect of recruiting Bee into the race, saying he probably is the only potential GOP candidate who has what it takes to dispatch Giffords.

“I’ve had people in my district and throughout Southern Arizona talking to me about the potential of doing this ever since the last election,” Bee told the Arizona Daily Star. “I think it’s time to look at it seriously and see if we have the support in the district and the financial support we need.”

Giffords closed the second quarter of this year with an extremely healthy $941,500 on hand.

— David M. Drucker

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