Arizona Governor Doug Ducey confirms he will not run for Senate

Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona on Thursday reaffirmed his decision not to run for the Senate this year, dealing a blow to Senate Minorit...


Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona on Thursday reaffirmed his decision not to run for the Senate this year, dealing a blow to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell while delighting former President Donald J. Trump , which for months had warned Mr. Ducey to stay out of the race.

Mr. Ducey, whose term is limited as governor, was one of the most wanted Republicans that Mr. McConnell had tried to recruit. In a letter to donors, Mr. Ducey appeared to allude to Mr. Trump’s harassment, saying: “These days, if you’re running for public office, you must really want the job.

Angry that Mr. Ducey would not overturn Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s narrow 2020 victory in the state, Mr. Trump lashed out for more than a year, complaining about Mr. Ducey’s certification of election results and threatening him over the Senate race. .

“Right now I have the job I want,” Mr. Ducey wrote, “and it is my intention to cap off my years of service in Arizona with a very productive final legislative session and help elect Republican governors. across the country in my role as President of the Republican Governors Association.

Mr. Ducey’s decision was long overdue. For months, he had told both the reporters who pressed him and the Republicans who courted him that he had little appetite to challenge Sen. Mark Kelly, a first-term Democrat.

That didn’t stop Mr. McConnell, whose attempts to recruit two other Republican governors, Chris Sununu of New Hampshire and Larry Hogan of Maryland, in the Senate races were also rebuffed.

Taken together, the rejections illustrate the difficulty Senate Republicans are having trying to entice traditional conservative governors to serve in a party still followed by Mr. Trump and in a polarized capital that may offer fewer opportunities for policymaking. policies than state houses. Moreover, many state executives are more interested in the presidency than in the Senate.

“By nature and by training, I’m an executive,” wrote Mr. Ducey, who in an interview last month said senators only seem to be “tweeting all day, doing a newscast at 5 p.m. hours and out for the rest of the night.”

Given President Biden’s declining approval ratings and Arizona’s center-right tilt, Republicans may still be able to reclaim Mr Kelly’s seat, which was previously held by the senator John McCain.

It’s unclear which of the Republicans in the remaining field would be best positioned to defeat Mr. Kelly, who started the year with $18 million in campaign money. Attorney General Mark Brnovich led a handful of lesser-known Republicans in some polls ahead of the August primary, but the race was frozen as GOP officials pleaded with Mr. Ducey to run.

A parade of prominent Republican leaders, including former President George W. Bush and Karl Rove as well as Mr. McConnell and his lieutenants, lobbied the Arizona governor, with some agreeing with polls indicating the waning influence of Mr. Trump in the primaries.

The spectrum of anti-Trump Republicans believed that Mr. Ducey, a popular two-term governor and former head of Cold Stone Creamery, would be their party’s strongest candidate and also send a message about what they believe to be the waning influence of Mr. Trump.

“MAGA will never allow RINO Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona to run for the United States Senate,” Trump said in a statement last month after a The Times article detailed the courting of the governor. “Then save your time, money and energy, Mitch!” »

In Mr. Ducey’s letter on Thursday, which was first reported by The Arizona Republic, he made no direct mention of Mr. Trump. But the governor was keen to single out Mr McConnell, who had been his most ardent pursuer.

“The only downside to all of this is that it would be an honor to serve with Senator Mitch McConnell,” he wrote. “I consider him a historic figure and one of the Titans of the Senate, and I support everything he does to elect Republican senators and regain control from Chuck Schumer.”

Mr. Ducey, who became close to Mr. McConnell when the two collaborated over who would be nominated to fill Mr. McCain’s seat after his death in 2018, also said in the letter that he was considering “possibly be weighed” with an endorsement in the Senate primary.

For his part, Mr. Trump did not formally intervene in the primary – at least not in favor of a candidate.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Arizona Governor Doug Ducey confirms he will not run for Senate
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey confirms he will not run for Senate
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