Arizona Senator Jon Kyl To Retire
Another Senator announced today that he will not stand for re-election in 2012:
Three-term Sen. Jon Kyl will announce his retirement at a noon ET news conference Thursday in Phoenix, two Republican sources confirmed to Fox News.
The Arizona lawmaker, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, will be the fifth senator scheduled for re-election next year to announce a departure from Congress in 2012.
Kyl, 68, served four terms in the House before winning a Senate seat. In 2006, he was named one of the 10 best senators by Time Magazine.
“He’s leaving now at the top of his game, he has money in the bank, and he’s one of the few long-term incumbents who doesn’t face a Tea Party challenge,” a senior Senate GOP aide with knowledge of Kyl’s decision said.
Kyl has never lost an election, and would not have been expected to lose a vote for a fourth term. He will be 70 years old when he leaves.
Given that this is Arizona, I think it’s safe to assume that this will be a GOP hold, although I think we can expect a well-fought primary. Possibly candidates that come to mind are Congressman Jeff Flake, former Congressman John Shaddegg, and former Congressman J.D. Hayworth, who lost a primary to John McCain last year.
The primary could just as easily result in another Angle or O’Donnel, and give the Democrats a solid pickup opportunity.
The Republicans would have to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, but there is a bit of precedent for it.