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Arizona Gov. Ducey says he won't run against Mark Kelly for Senate

Arizona Gov. Doug DuceyDoug DuceyBorder state governors rebel against Biden's immigration chaos DeSantis: Florida officers to respond to 'border security crisis' in Texas, Arizona Former Rep. Matt Salmon launches gubernatorial bid in Arizona MORE (R) closed the door on a potential Senate run in 2022 amid rumors that he could challenge Arizona Sen. Mark KellyMark KellyThe Hill's Morning Report - After high-stakes Biden-Putin summit, what now? Tensions grow between liberals and centrists on infrastructure On The Money: Yellen, Powell brush off inflation fears | Fed keeps rates steady, upgrades growth projections MORE (D).

“I’m not running for the United States Senate. It’s a no. I’m 100 percent focused on being the governor of the state of Arizona,” he said in an interview with The New York Times that was published Saturday. “I’ve accepted the role as the chairman of the [Republican Governors Association]. So I’ve got a full-time job and then I’ve got a full-time job beyond that. And that’s what my focus is.” 

Kelly’s seat, which he won in a special election in November and is up again in 2022 for a full term, is a top priority for Republicans in the midterms. The party is eager to make up ground in the state after ceding both of its Senate seats to Democrats and losing the presidential race to President Joe BidenJoe BidenChinese apps could face subpoenas, bans under Biden executive order: report OVERNIGHT ENERGY:  EPA announces new clean air advisors after firing Trump appointees |  Senate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior | Watchdog: Bureau of Land Management saw messaging failures, understaffing during pandemic Poll: Majority back blanket student loan forgiveness MORE, marking the first time a Democratic presidential nominee has won Arizona since 1996.

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Republicans had speculated that Ducey would be a strong candidate given his proven ability to win statewide in a state that has gradually shifted to the left.

However, the governor has now been thrust into the middle of a GOP civil war that broke open after the departure of former President TrumpDonald TrumpChinese apps could face subpoenas, bans under Biden executive order: report Kim says North Korea needs to be 'prepared' for 'confrontation' with US Ex-Colorado GOP chair accused of stealing more than 0K from pro-Trump PAC MORE from the White House. Ducey has been on the receiving end of an avalanche of criticism from Trump’s allies after he rebuffed their demands that he decline to certify Biden’s victory in the state and later attended Biden’s inauguration.

Ducey is being censured by the Arizona Republican Party, which has tied itself closely to Trump, over his role in certifying the election.

When asked what the GOP needs to do to win statewide, Ducey indicated that the party needs to mend its divides if it wants to reverse its losses. 

“For Republicans across the country, we need to be thinking in addition and multiplication mode rather than subtraction and division,” Ducey told the Times. “And in both races that I’ve had as governor, that’s the posture that I’ve had.

“It’s a broad coalition,” he added. “It should be a big tent.”