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

Rep. Ruben GallegoRuben GallegoOne lawmaker gets engaged, another married around Valentine's Day Stage production 'Americano!' tells the life and struggles of a 'Dreamer' Democratic lawmaker says Trump 'doesn't have full command' on Iran 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 McSallyDemocratic Senate campaign arm raised more than .5 million in January On the Trail: Senate GOP hopefuls tie themselves to Trump Trump knocks Democrats at rally: Bloomberg 'getting pounded' MORE (R), who was appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey (R) to complete the term of the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMeghan McCain after Gaetz says Trump should pardon Roger Stone: 'Oh come on' Advice for fellow Democrats: Don't count out Biden, don't fear a brokered convention McSally ties Democratic rival Kelly to Sanders in new ad MORE (R) following the resignation of interim Sen. Jon Kyl (R).

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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.”