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Top Trump nemesis might join GOP Senate primary

To many Arizona Republicans, he didn’t sound like a person who believes his political profession is winding down this 12 months.

Nationwide Republicans have continued to carry out hope that the governor would rethink his choice. Ducey has gained statewide workplace thrice, together with as state treasurer. He additionally has across-the-board title recognition and a well-oiled marketing campaign infrastructure. Simply as vital, as Kelly begins the 12 months with practically $20 million available, Ducey has honed his fundraising expertise and amassed a community of nationwide donors after serving the previous 12 months as chair of the Republican Governors Affiliation.

“These are all of the sorts of metrics that the skilled watchers search for in a potential candidate, and he checks each field,” mentioned Kirk Adams, Ducey’s former chief of employees. “Simply because he can do it doesn’t imply he’ll do it.”

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Prior to now a number of months, Ducey has introduced on 4 new staffers who beforehand labored for Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake, together with two who had been state administrators, in keeping with a POLITICO overview of the governor’s workplace’s employees bulletins.

Ducey’s marketing campaign spokesperson didn’t reply to requests for remark for this story,

With a submitting deadline of April 4 to gather and submit hundreds of petition signatures, Ducey doesn’t have for much longer to resolve. A Ducey for Senate announcement, if it comes, would probably happen by the tip of February, in keeping with a supply aware of the governor’s circle.

Former President Donald Trump looms as a robust pressure within the race. Trump, who has a rally scheduled Saturday in Phoenix, has made Ducey a frequent goal of abuse, criticizing him over the previous 12 months for his refusal to embrace election fraud conspiracies. In June, the previous president mentioned the Ducey “couldn’t get the nomination” for Senate, if he ran.

Regardless of endorsing within the state’s 2022 gubernatorial and secretary of state races, Trump has but to get behind anybody within the Senate primary, the place Brnovich, the present frontrunner, has struggled to command a major lead as practically half of primary voters stay undecided, in keeping with latest polling.

Like Ducey, Brnovich has confronted Trump’s ire for not looking for to overturn Biden’s Arizona victory. The 2 statewide Republicans who had been first elected to their posts in 2014, nevertheless, have a frosty relationship relationship again years, and haven’t labored collectively notably intently whereas in workplace.

In November, the previous president appeared at a fundraiser held at a Mar-a-Lago for Masters.

“I feel he’s self-perpetuating it to maintain his title on the market and to maintain himself related,” Arizona Republican strategist Chuck Coughlin mentioned of the Ducey rumors. “I simply don’t see why he does it. It’s masochistic. He’s undoubtedly not that man.”

Following reviews this week that Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan continues to be being courted for and is contemplating a Senate run this 12 months, an individual concerned with nationwide Senate races mentioned Ducey is “actually extra probably than Hogan” to get in, and that there was an uptick in conversations in latest weeks a couple of Ducey run.

Spokespeople for Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell and the Nationwide Republican Senatorial Committee declined to touch upon the prospects of Ducey moving into the race.

Adams mentioned the governor can be the “prohibitive favourite to be the subsequent United States senator” if he grew to become the Republican nominee.

However even Arizona Republicans who imagine Ducey can be the highest candidate within the race are skeptical of the notion that he has modified his thoughts.

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“The rumors by no means cease,” mentioned Sean Noble, a GOP political marketing consultant in Arizona. “There proceed to be rumors. There are succesful individuals working within the Senate race proper now, most of which might be robust opponents” in opposition to Kelly.

Ducey’s statewide approval score this fall was 42 p.c, on par with Kelly’s, in keeping with polling carried out by HighGround, Coughlin’s political consulting agency in Phoenix. Roughly 65 p.c of Republicans within the state had a good view of the governor, the agency discovered, regardless of Trump’s criticism.

Chad Campbell, a Democratic political marketing consultant in Arizona and former state Home minority chief, was amongst those that had been struck by how Ducey’s speech Monday stood in distinction to his earlier seven.

“I feel lots of people heard that and mentioned to themselves, ‘He’s taking a look at leaping within the Senate race nonetheless,’” Campbell mentioned. “On the very least, he’s wading into the water and testing the temperature. If he’s going to do it, he should do it quickly.”

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