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Arizona Governor Doug Ducey says he won’t run for Senate

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has closed the door on mounting a U.S. Senate campaign, rebuffing pressure from some national Republicans to enter the race to challenge Democratic incumbent Senator Mark Kelly.

“These days, if you’re going to run for public office, you have to really want the job,” Ducey said in an email to donors explaining his decision. “Right now I have the job I want, and my intention is to close my years of service to Arizona with a very productive final legislative session AND to help elect Republican governors across the country in my role as chairman of the Republican Governors Association.”

In his note, Ducey acknowledged that although he had already said over a year ago in January 2021 that he didn’t want to run for the Senate, “a number of people have asked me to reconsider.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was reportedly among those encouraging Ducey to think about entering the race.

“The only downside about any of this is that it would be an honor to serve with Sen. Mitch McConnell,” Ducey told donors. “I consider him an historic figure and one of the Titans of the Senate, and I am supportive of everything he’s doing to elect Republican senators and wrest back control from Chuck Schumer.”

Ducey’s announcement follows similar decisions by Republican Governors Larry Hogan of Maryland and Chris Sununu of New Hampshire to opt against launching Senate bids despite pressure from national Republicans. Like his gubernatorial colleagues, Ducey said he views himself as an executive rather than a legislator. 

“Once again, Senate Republicans’ recruitment efforts have failed, and their top potential candidates are refusing to run against strong Democratic Senators like Mark Kelly,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesperson Patrick Burgwinkle said in a statement. 

Several Republicans are already vying for the chance to challenge Kelly in November, including Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, businessman Jim Lamon and venture capitalist Blake Masters. 

“We have great candidates running in Arizona, one of whom will beat Mark Kelly in November,” National Republican Senatorial Committee communications director Chris Hartline said in a statement to CBS News. 

As he continues his job to help elect GOP governors, Ducey said he remains committed to flipping Arizona’s Senate seat as well.

“We have a strong field of candidates in Arizona and I will be actively supporting our nominee – and perhaps weighing in before the primary,” Ducey said. 

Ducey said he and his wife will decide what comes next after the midterm elections. 



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