The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Which Republicans Will Run for Giffords’ Seat?


One of my Arizona guys writes in:

I thought I would give you a little insight into what will happen with the Giffords resignation.

First, it’s a bit of a stroke of good luck for the GOP. The Democrats have not taken a lot of action because they were waiting for Giffords to make a move. Since the district is currently marginally Republican, the GOP has a slight edge, depending on the candidates. That gives us a head start on the special election (in about 5 months) and the general (which will be in a slightly more Democratic district).

Who will be running as a Republican? First will be Frank Antenori, state senator and retired Green Beret. Strong conservative. I think he has the edge since he has had an exploratory committee already going. Also will have a good campaign team and grassroots.

Dave Sitton, sportscaster for the U of A.

Benny White has expressed interest in the position today. He is a retired Air Force officer and has collected a lot of chits by helping Republicans during the years and probably has an inside edge with establishment GOP money people.

Ruth McClung. I’ve heard talk that she might try to run in this district. She ran against Grijalva in 2010, but she is within walking distance of the congressional border. She might try to take the plunge again.

As mentioned in today’s Three Martini Lunch, the decision by Rep. Giffords to focus on her recovery is probably best for her and for the district. After experiencing such horror and demonstrating such determination during her long recovery, Giffords became a figure of unparalleled sympathy. For this reason, opponents in both parties gingerly tiptoed around discussions of this year’s congressional race, and some Arizona Democrats eagerly hoped she would run for the open U.S. Senate seat. But leaders are not supposed to be selected purely on sympathy.

Tags: Benny White , Dave Sitton , Frank Antenori , Gabrielle Giffords , Ruth McClung


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