Gallego won't seek Ariz. Senate seat, clearing Dem path for Kelly

Rep. Ruben GallegoRuben GallegoGallego tapped as national campaign chairman for Swalwell presidential bid Hispanic Caucus asks for meeting with top immigration official Mark Kelly raises eye-popping million in Arizona Senate race MORE (D-Ariz.) will not seek Arizona’s Senate seat in 2020, increasing the odds that retired astronaut Mark Kelly will not face a major opponent in the Democratic primary, according to the Arizona Republic.

Kelly is looking to unseat Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyGOP Senate campaign arm hits battleground-state Dems over 'Medicare for All,' Green New Deal Senate Republicans tested on Trump support after Mueller Trump gives nod to vulnerable GOP Sen. McSally with bill signing MORE (R), who was appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey (R) to complete the term of the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainIf you don't think illegal immigrants are voting for president, think again 10 factors making Russia election interference the most enduring scandal of the Obama era Earth Day founder's daughter: Most Republican leaders believe in climate change in private MORE (R) following the resignation of interim Sen. Jon Kyl (R).

ADVERTISEMENT

Kelly, who announced his campaign his campaign in February, is married to former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who left Congress shortly after she was injured in a 2011 shooting.

Gallego, a three-term representative, is a favorite on the party’s left flank and recently met with donors and key figures in the state Democratic party, according to the newspaper, but he ultimately decided to run for reelection in his solidly Democratic congressional district.

“I don’t want to engage in a bitter primary all the way until the general election, and then turn around and try to run, whether it’s me or Kelly, against McSally in a year when the Democrats need to win the Senate seat and take the state,” Gallego told the newspaper. “It’s just not in the best interest of the state or the Democratic Party to be engaging in that. ... If Republicans are excited to see a spirited and nasty primary, they’re going to have to look somewhere else because I’m not going to take part in that.”