Politics

There’s growing speculation in Arizona that Republican Gov. Doug Ducey will jump into the high-profile Senate race.

AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File

By NATALIE ALLISON

01/13/2022 03:17 PM EST

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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey declared in January 2021 that he was “100 percent” focused on his current job and uninterested in a bid for Senate. But speculation among state political insiders that Ducey is plotting a late entry into the Senate race has escalated in recent weeks — a development that would scramble a contest that is pivotal to the battle for the Senate majority.

The term-limited Republican governor, now in his last year of office, has not said anything publicly that suggests he has changed his mind. The Aug. 2 GOP primary to take on Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly is well underway as state Attorney General Mark Brnovich, venture capitalist Blake Masters, solar power executive Jim Lamon and state emergency leader Mick McGuire compete for the nomination, a race that has already generated millions of dollars in Republican ad spending.

Ducey’s final State of the State address on Monday, however, left the Arizona State Capitol Complex abuzz after the governor used the speech to repeatedly criticize the federal government. His address included six mentions of Washington, D.C., along with sustained attacks on President Joe Biden and his administration — the kind of broadsides more likely to come from a candidate for federal office than a governor outlining his final state legislative agenda.

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