Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 18, 2014

Arizona: GOP State Senator Enters Race to Replace Gabrielle Giffords

Arizona state Sen. Frank Antenori (R) this morning announced his candidacy to succeed former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D).

This is his second run for Congress. He ran for the 8th district in 2006, when it was an open seat, but lost in the GOP primary.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) is expected to announce the dates of the primary and special election by 7 p.m. Saturday. By law, the primary must take place sometime in April and the general will occur in June.

The special election will be held using current 8th district lines. The November election will be for the redrawn seat, which was renumbered as the 2nd district as part of redistricting. Under the new lines, 90 percent of the constituents are from the current 8th district, but the redraw slightly improved the seat for Democrats. The current and redrawn district is considered a Tossup.

Roll Call has previously reported that veteran Jesse Kelly, who lost to Giffords in 2010 by a slim margin, will run for the seat. College sports TV broadcaster Dave Sitton is also a widely discussed potential GOP candidate.

No Democrats have made their intentions clear, but names previously floated include state Sen. Linda Lopez of Tucson, who is close to Giffords; state Senate Minority Whip Paula Aboud; state Rep. Steve Farley, who also knows Giffords; Pima County Supervisor Ramon Valadez; and businesswoman Nan Stockholm Walden.

Roll Call has also learned that state Rep. Matt Heinz is considering a run for the Democratic nomination.

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