J.D.Hayworth Not Running for Arizona Governor

Hayworth to skip governor’s race (Arizona Republic)

U.S. Rep. J.D. Hayworth, widely considered the Republicans’ top contender to defeat Gov. Janet Napolitano in 2006, decided Wednesday to stay in Congress instead of running for Arizona’s top statewide office. Hayworth’s decision reshapes the dynamics for the 2006 governor’s race and creates a wide-open field of candidates to challenge the Democratic governor.


Recent public opinion polls indicate that Napolitano enjoys a comfortable lead over her most likely Republican rivals in the governor’s race. In January, a poll done by The Arizona Republic said that Napolitano led former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley by 18 percentage points and Hayworth by 19 percentage points. That same poll said that Arizonans are more confident in the leadership of Napolitano and the Legislature compared with last year.

Polls this early, especially against an incumbent, are virtually meaningless. Still, I’m guessing Hayworth would have jumped in had he thought victory likely.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.