If Jon Kyl Doesn’t Step Up, Who Will In 2012?

U.S. Senator Jon Kyl has curiously not yet declared his intentions for a re-election race in 2012. After a distinguished career in public service it’s understandable, if not regrettable, that he may want to entertain other pursuits. But it begs the question: what might that crazy Republican primary look like? A quick glimpse.

*Congressman Jeff Flake: The look. The LDS base. The adoring national press. A top tier candidate.

*Former Congressman John Shadegg: Can he raise the dough being out of office?

*Former Attorney General Grant Woods: The likely recipient of John McCain’s support. Could he win a fractured GOP primary? The same strategy did not work for another liberal Republican, Paulina Morris.

*Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu: A darkhorse. He knows how to raise a profile. Does he know how to raise money? Speculation is he wants a bigger prize than Arizona’s new congressional seat.

*Congressman Trent Franks: A conservative’s conservative. Would he risk a very safe seat for a very big reward?

*Congressman-Elect Ben Quayle: He wouldn’t, would he? He did, successfully, didn’t he?

Let the games begin.


  1. Nothing curious about it. It’s politics 101 – such announcements aren’t made this early – why tip off your competition when you can keep ’em guessing.

    Kyl will run in 2012 and Kyl will win…BIG. Bet on it.

  2. Kyl is really doing a dis-service to the people of Arizona by not making his intentions known. The GOP candidates need time to raise money especially in a senate race and by waiting he is just hurting those candidates chances if he does not run

  3. Also Barnstorm, there have been multiple articles about how it is very weird that a man in a leadership position has not announced as of yet. It is actually making many of the senate leadership in DC nervous. So this is unusual especially with how much money people need now a days to run campaigns

  4. @Johnny: No, there hasn’t been articles saying that it’s “weird.” Further, the only people who might be “nervous” are the same people who salivate with the hope that Kyl will retire. So, in addition to my bet that Kyl will stll be our senator in 2013, I wager that you must work for John Shadegg or Jeff Flake or, more likely, work for the Democratic Party.

  5. Steve Calabrese says

    Grant Woods? You’re joking, right? The man has no GOP support whatsoever. He is a disgrace.

  6. Taxpayer 3000 says

    Anybody but Shadegg (or Woods).

  7. TruGrassrootsGOP says

    How about LeAnn Hull? She’ll beat everyone in 2012!! Go LeAnn!!!

  8. Oh Barnstrom,

    Look here is an article discussing Kyl and his lack of an announcement. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46519.html

    First sentence… ‘Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl won’t say whether he’ll run for reelection in 2012, adding deep uncertainty to the future of the Senate Republican leadership”

    Also from the article… “the National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman — are pushing colleagues who plan to retire to announce early, to help the party recruit potential candidates”

    The article also quotes the much hated Randy Pullen… Randy Pullen, outgoing chairman of the Arizona Republican Party, said that, “as far I know, [Kyl] plans not to run again.”

    Pullen added, “Things may change, but I don’t believe he is running, based on past conversations that I’ve had with him.”

    So really NO articles have been written? Someone just lost credibility Barnstorm.

  9. So much fun to be had here.

    Citing an article from a liberal DC media outlet such as Politico only confirms the totally biased nonsense of your comments. The reporter wholly invents the bit about “deep uncertainty.” And then term was only used in relation to who could succeed Jon Kyl in senate leadership IF he didn’t run again. Aside from the reporter, nobody he cited expressed concern or surprise that Kyl hasn’t said anything yet. In fact, most of the other senators up in 2012 haven’t announced anything either. Again, this is politics 101.

    The reporter really hangs his hat on comments from Randy Pullen. Since when has Pullen had any credibility about anything? Forgive me, but his comments come off as a pathetic parting shot from a guy that is well known to dislike Kyl (as well as the other GOP delegation members).

    I give the reporter credit for not cutting the most important point: “GOP senators and party operatives caution that Kyl would easily win if he runs and could very quickly raise the millions of dollars he would need.” So there’s no reason to signal his campaign strategy to his opponents and the media when the election is TWO years away.

    Moreover, Cornyn made clear that it’s understandable that no announcement has come in the one month after the last election, noting that Kyl “certainly has got his hands full with other things.”

    Again, the only people wringing their hands over such premature news are the very folks that aim to gain.

  10. So it liberal and biased but yet they say Kyl would win re-election easy. You can’t have it both ways. And all you said was that there were NO articles on Kyls lack of an announcement yet I clearly showed you to be a liar…

    If you would like some other articles discussing Kyl and his lack of an announcement and possible retirement you can read these articles:


    But im sure those are just too liberal for you.

    Not everyone is out to get Kyl just because they think he is retiring, it is a rumor and a possibility deal with it

  11. Kyl will run.

    And the McCain machine will ramp up to talk about unity and how we have to vote for Democrats who are running Republican like Kyl or else we hate the Republican party.

    It’s a broken record at this point.

    There is no negotiation with “the Johns”. It’s their way or scortched earth.

    And there is no room for true Reagan conservativism with them. Just disguised NWO neo-conservative LIBERALISM.

  12. I would gladly take Kyl over every name on that list.

    He’s made a few missteps, (like supporting a guest worker program) but I can find fault with EVERY Republican on that list.

    No Republican is “perfect”, but Kyl is about as good as it gets in my eyes.

    I hope he runs for reelection and we can lock this seat up. If Giffords tries to run against him, she’ll be crushed.

  13. “Congressman Trent Franks: A conservative’s conservative.”

    Franks threw that claim in the garbage this year when he ENDORSED John McCain, Vernon Parker and Tony Bouie all in primaries. Those are not misplaced endorsements, that’s an agenda.

  14. Kyl will run. Kyl will win. And anyone who calls Kyl a liberal is smoking meth, eating magic mushrooms and believes in Santa’s elves.

  15. If Kyl does decide to bow out Flake is my pick. The fact that he is on appropriations this year is a gift to the tea party.

  16. Jeff Flake is the “top tier.” He’s my pick if Kyl doesn’t run.

  17. It is fun to speculate here. With the unlikely event that Kyl does not run I would really like to see Jeff Flake as our next Senator. In a time where spending is the #1 issue I think we need a guy who has a proven track record of fiscal responsibility.

  18. Flakey Jeff says

    Thanks to all the Flake staffers for posting today. It’s really fooling everybody.

  19. Kyl is done. We’ve been hearing rumors for about three years now and his lack of a definitive answer shows that he doesn’t want to give the left time to groom a candidate. If they think Kyl is going to stick around they will run another sacrificial lamb like Glassman. If he announces last minute they wont have time to get somebody decent in there. I think it’s a smart tactic.

    We need Flake to step up to the plate. He is the perfect candidate. He has a great state-wide support base and pretty good nation-wide backing for fundraising. He has been a huge opponent to the ridiculous spending going on in DC and has the record to back it up. That is going to be the key issue in 2012. If you think spending was an big this year it’s going to be even bigger in the next election. Republicans need to keep it the main focus. The Dems are trying to push social issues and make us say something stupid. Flake is younger, he is very well spoken and he stays away from the divisive social issues as much as he can. We’ve seen Flake at the forefront of the push to reduce spending and he has been making himself very visible because of that. These are things we need in a Senator from AZ. He will be a leader on the hill even if he is the junior Senator. He’s perfect.

    You mentioned Sheriff Paul as a candidate, I say no way. Too early. Plus with a new Congressional seat opening up in Pinal/Maricopa I think you see him win that by 15 points. I know Paul and I would say that he hasn’t let this “fame” get to his head, he wont try to jump up to the Senate.

  20. Flake stays away from the divisive social issues? He is a champion of the radical McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill and just voted FOR the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell — even liberal John McCain didn’t vote for DADT!

    Anyone who thinks that Kyl isn’t conservative enough for them is going to have a seizure when they take a closer look at Jeff Flake’s real RINO record.

  21. Unless a political earthquake hits, McKyl will endure as in 2010.

    This is unfortuante.

    Our tandem has not worked for the progress and benefit of the state but for the neo-Con foreign policy crowd and the local tourism “uber-alles” shortsighted business brahmins.

    The first crowd ensures that we’re prancing all over Asian borders while the second has determined that we should never protect our own!

    As to othes mentioned, Franks, can be safely relied upon to dance with the first crowd, while Flake is owned by the second!

    Hate to say it, but the future looks dim for conservatives in Arizona.

  22. Good God, anyone but Quayle. I’m tired of carpetbaggers. If we elect him he will never leave.

  23. RevolutionaryForce says

    If the RNC annoints Flake, I am running against him. The fudge-packers in the East Valley are too distracted by Flake’s pecks to watch his record. He voted to let homosexuals flaunt in the US Military. He voted for ENDA which would require hiring quotas for gays, even at Bible book stores.

  24. The Clear Choice says

    Jeff Flake is the clear choice. We need someone who understands our fiscal problem as a nation. Trust me, a Flake campaign would be one machine none of those other Republicans would want to face in the primary.

  25. Jeff Flake is the clear choice. A fiscal conservative who has fought against the pork that has been put on bills for as long as anyone can remember. He is a proven conservative and is willing to take on the established people in Congree to press that agenda. The U.S. will be years getting out of the fiscal mess we are in so a person with the solid convictions Jeff has is just the type of person we need to keep in Washington.

  26. Wow flake staffers you guys are everywhere.

  27. Joe Arpaio for Senate 2012.

    Isn’t Jeff Flake the one who skipped out on a really important vote last year…Hmmm…something to do with climate change.

  28. I’d vote for Jeff Flake!

  29. Yeah, the flakes are pushing their tripe on this one.

    Might as well have a Democrat as Amnesty Flake.

  30. Jeff never met an illegal he wouldn’t hire!

    Now we know why Mike Triggs supports the Honey Marquez version of “Tea Partier”!

  31. Kyl is probably going to run for re-election and is better than most of the alternatives mentioned in the original post. Franks is probably the best of those mentioned and may be better than Kyl, but Franks would likely not be able to beat Kyl in a primary. In fact, it is very unlikely anyone could be Kyl in the Republican primary and it is unlikely that Kyl would lose the general election in 2012.

    If he decides not to run, we need to find someone who is not on the list in the original post.

  32. Veritas Vincit says

    Ya’ll forgot Jan Brewer… or has she ruled it out completely?

    Flake to the Kyl seat and Kirk Adams to the Flake seat … Babau to run for the new CD9 seat. Have heard Chuck Gray suggesting he may run for the new seat too.

    Doesn’t anyone remember 2006 when Kyl said on more than one occasion that he was considering retirement after “… this one last term.”

    Think way back folks. Will he or won’t he? My guess is its being negotiated right now.

  33. After voting to allow openly gay people to serve in the United States military, Jeff Flake woulfn’t even win reelection in his own district. I guarantee that any conservative primary opponent from Flake’s ultra-conservative & predominately Mormon district will use this against Flake in the Republican Primary in 2 years & it will be the reason that he loses. Flake’s best hope is to attract more than one conservative challenger in order for them to split the vote.

    Flake’s already one of the biggest defenders of amnesty & open borders in the the entire Congress. This fact would kill him in a Senate primary too, but for some reason this hasn’t hurt him in his Congressional races yet. But Flake’s vote to repeal DADT will be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    After voting in such a terrible way on the DADT repeal, my guess is that it’s even more likely that Flake is planning on retiring after this term that even Jon Kyl might be. Either way, I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure that Jeff Flake is permanently retired from public service.

    A couple years ago, Russell Pearce floated his name out there as a possible primary challenger to Jeff Flake. After Pearce’s tremendous popularity due to SB 1070 & after Flake’s DADT vote, Flake would run away from a challenge from Pearce if it presented itself again. I guess that it would be doubtful now, since Pearce could be Senate President for the next 6 years. But stranger things have happened & Flake was a big part in the Nathan Sproul attacks against Pearce a couple years ago, so a challenge from Pearce could be sweet payback for the gay military backing Flake.

  34. Leaving Flake aside, which would be a wonderful solution to the upcoming Senate race, Jon Kyl has a few things to answer for during his last term in office.

    Primarily his rabid defense of the Federal Reserve from any meaningful audit and his actions along with Kay Hutchison to kill funding for the border fence!

    It seems that national security and fiscal responsibilities are just campaign cycle buzzwords for the GOP establishment.

    Now wonder there are Tea Parties!

  35. Saguaro Miss says

    A late in entering this conversation, but was out of town for Christmas. My pick is Jeff Flake for either Senatorial seat.

  36. Saguaro Miss says

    A late in entering this conversation, but was out of town for Christmas. My pick is Jeff Flake for either Senatorial seat.

  37. Glad to see that Flake staffer back on the board.

    Again, we are all really fooled by your one-man campaign to promote the very liberal Jeff Flake for a job that isn’t likely to come open.

    Don’t you have a pro-DREAM Act rally to attend?

  38. I hope that Senator Kyl retires. He has been in long enough. It is time for some new talent to get in there.

    I am a strong supporter of Jeff Flake, but I think he is more effective in the house with his recent election to the Appropriations Committee.

    I think that the ultimate darkhorse, who I encourage everyone to consider is Rep. Steve Montenegro. His selection would go a long way in reaching out to Arizona hispanic voters, and he is very conservative, and an immigrant himself. I encourage everyone to take a look at him.

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