Phoenix, AZ – Jon Kyl has been in Congress since 1984, including three terms in
the U-S senate. Kyl said his decision to make his announcement
now, nearly two years before his term ends, presents some unique
opportunities. One is the chance to work with Democrat-turned-
independent Sen. Joe Lieberman who also said he won't run again
(It's possible that the two of us and others who are not going to
be running for reelection could use this opportunity to do some
things that others that have reelections are more reticent to
One of those is entitlement reform. Kyl said politicians on both
side of the political aisle say changes are needed. But each side
then wants the other to go first. He also said the timing gives
those who want to run a chance to build the network and raise the
money necessary for a statewide campaign.
(I think it's probably going to be a good year for Republicans.
We have a very strong bench, if you will, for candidates that
might want to seek the position. And will all due respect for my
Democratic friends, i don't think there are as many candidates on
their side that would have a real prospect of winning.)
Possible GOP contenders include Congressman Jeff Flake, former
Congressman John Shadegg and former state Treasurer Dean Martin.
But an open seat also presents some opportunities for Democrats,
ranging from Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords to Jim Pederson,
who lost to Kyl in 2006 and former Gov. Janet Napolitano. For
Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.