PHOENIX - With Sen. Jon Kyl's announcement to not run for re-election in 2012, the focus now turns to who will replace the long-time senator.
ABC15 has heard from several candidates who could be considered for the job.
Some of the people who have expressed interest are former Governor Fife Symington, Rep. Trent Franks, J.D. Hayworth and Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon.
Some people who said they will not seek the seat are former Rep. John Shadegg and Governor Jan Brewer.
Other Republicans mentioned as possible candidates are Rep. Jeff Flake and former state Treasurer Dean Martin. Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu is also a name floating out there.
The GOP should be favored to hold on to the seat in heavily Republican Arizona, where the party was hugely successful in the midterm elections. But Democrats have won statewide elections and
say they should not be counted out.
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords had been mentioned as a strong Democratic candidate for the seat before she was shot in the head at a political event one month ago.
Here are a few statements about the open seat:
Mayor Phil Gordon: "I'd have to give that a long look, that's for sure. The chance to keep working for Phoenix and for Arizona on a national level definitely appeals to me. It would be a chance to continue to lead on issues like job creation and real immigration reform. I'm going to talk to those around me, my family, friends and advisers, and do a lot of thinking about this race."
J.D. Hayworth: "All Arizonans should pause to thank Jon Kyl for his long and effective service on behalf of our state. Mary and I want to thank the supporters who have already contacted us about another run for the U.S. Senate. We will listen to Arizona voters in the days ahead, but first we will be praying and talking as a family about our future plans."
John Shadegg: "I have received many encouraging phone calls and e-mail messages in the last day and a half urging me to run for the United States Senate. And, while it would be a great honor and privilege to succeed my friend Jon Kyl in the U.S. Senate, as I did in the House, I made a decision a year ago to pursue other opportunities. Now is not the right time, either for me or my family, to pursue the opportunity created by Senator Kyl's decision. While it has been a tremendous privilege to serve the people of Arizona in the U.S. Congress, I will not be a candidate for the Senate in 2012."
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