Within hours of the news breaking that Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.) is not seeking re-election this fall, several Republicans stepped forward to say they are either mulling or entering the open-seat race.
State Rep. Sam Crump (R), who was interested in running for the 3rd district seat when Shadegg initially planned to retire in 2008, told Roll Call he intends to run and will make a formal announcement in “a matter of days, not weeks.—
State Sens. Pamela Gorman (R) and Jim Waring (R) and former Shadegg Chief of Staff Sean Noble all told Roll Call that they are considering a run but wanted to take some time to weigh support among their families and district voters.
Other names that have been floated include former Arizona State football star Andrew Walter and state Treasurer Dean Martin, who just declared a gubernatorial run on Wednesday.
State Rep. Jim Weiers (R) said he does not plan on running.
Small-business man John Hurlburd is already in the race on the Democratic side and, according to a party source, raised more than $315,000 in the final quarter of 2009, his first since launching the campaign. Hurlburd is also capable of self-funding.
Democrats think that a divisive GOP primary could provide Hurlburd with an opening.
The Phoenix-based seat will be a tough one for Democrats to pick up, given its Republican registration advantage and the political climate. Shadegg underperformed Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) presidential campaign in 2008, with the latter winning the district 57 percent to 42 percent over Barack Obama. President George W. Bush (R) topped Sen. John Kerry (D), 58 percent to 41 percent, in the district in the 2004 presidential contest.
The Rothenberg Political Report initially broke the news of Shadegg’s retirement.