Shadegg Won’t Seek Re-Election

Posted January 14, 2010 at 1:37pm

Updated: 2:49 p.m.Eight-term Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.) will not seek re-election this year, he announced Thursday.He is the 14th House Republican to announce plans to retire or run for another office.In a statement, Shadegg said: “While representing the people of Arizona in the House was one of my goals in life, it is not the only one. After 16 years it is time for me to take my life in a new direction and to pursue my commitment to fight for freedom in a different venue.—Shadegg announced he was retiring in 2008, before being convinced by the Republican leadership to run for another term. He went on to win the closest race of his career that year, topping attorney Bob Lord (D) 54 percent to 42 percent in the Republican-leaning Phoenix-based 3rd district.Shadegg alluded to that decision in his Thursday statement and thanked “those who encouraged me to run then and particularly those who stepped up and helped financially in that race.—As for the future of the seat, Shadegg said, “evidence continues to build that 2010 will be a record year for Republicans running for Congress. And, I am extremely confident that the people of the Third District of Arizona will elect a solid conservative.—The seat will be a tough one for Democrats to pick up, given its Republican registration advantage and the political climate. Shadegg underperformed compared to Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) presidential campaign in 2008, with McCain winning the district 56 percent to 42 percent over President Barack Obama. George W. Bush topped Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) 58 to 41 percent in the district in the 2004 presidential contest.Shadegg serves on the Energy and Commerce and Energy Independence and Global Warming committees. He chaired the conservative Republican Study Committee from 2000 to 2002, and he chaired the Republican Policy Committee from 2005 to 2006.Among the names being floated as possible GOP recruits to succeed Shadegg: state Sens. Pamela Gorman and Jim Waring; state Reps. Jim Weiers and Sam Crump; former Shadegg Chief of Staff Sean Noble; former Arizona State football star Andrew Walter; and state Treasurer Dean Martin, who just declared a run for governor on Wednesday.