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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Arizona Senate Seat

Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) has announced that he will not seek reelection next year. Such announcement tend to spur discussion of possible successors, as this news item suggests:

Dr. Charles W. Dunn is the distinguished professor of government at Regent University's Robertson School of Government and has held several staff positions with the House and Senate. He says there is one Democrat who could be the heavy favorite to take the seat. (Listen to audio report)

"If Congresswoman [Gabrielle] Giffords were to recover [from her wound], she would be the frontrunner," says the political scientist, referring to the Democratic lawmaker who was shot on January 8 in Tucson. "Her name recognition and her favorability ratings would go up through the ceiling. But her recovery -- that's the key. And then if she does recover, whether she would want to seek it."

Dunn says GOP hopefuls might include Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, but certainly former Congressman J.D. Hayworth, who he believes would have to be top on the list. "He did reasonably well as a member of the U.S. House, [but] lost in [2006] when many Republicans lost...," says the educator. "He's articulate. He is conservative. He would probably be the odds-on favorite out of the starting gate to get the Republican nomination."

But Dunn says Hayworth probably made some political enemies when he mounted a primary challenge to John McCain last year -- and that, he believes, could pose a problem.