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Top GOP Recruit Passes On Race for Renzi’s Seat

Former state Senate President Ken Bennett (R), who had been considered a potential frontrunner in the race to replace retiring Rep. Rick Renzi (R) in the 1st district, has decided not to run for Congress in 2008.

Bennett has not ruled out running for Congress in the future but has decided that 2008 was not the right time for him to re-enter public life, The Associated Press reported.

With Bennett out, Republicans are left with 2002 1st district candidate Sydney Hay, who has officially launched her candidacy, as well as state Rep. Bill Konopnicki, state Sen. Tom O’Halleran and GOP activist Steve Pierce — all three of whom are considering a run.

On the Democratic side, former state Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick recently retired from the Legislature to run for the 1st district and is considered her party’s frontrunner. Attorney Howard Shanker (D) and former television reporter Mary Kim Titla (D) also are running.

— David M. Drucker

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