Arizona Republican Senator John KylAt 68 years old, Arizona U.S. Senator John Kyl is calling it quits.
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.
Good for Kyl as he leaves with enough years to enjoy life and leaves at the top.
For Republicans, this may not be so good as this seat would be an easy hold for them. In fact, Larry Sabato has downgraded GOP prospects to “Leans Republican.”
So, who are mentioned as possible replacements?
Republicans: Rep. Jeff Flake, former Rep. John Shadegg and probably countless others in the Arizona Legislature
Democrats: Former Arizona Governor and Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano and Rep Gabrielle Giffords (if she rehabs in time).
Carly Fiorina last night in San Diego last night speaking as part of her California U.S. Senate announcement tourThe endorsements are not really a surprise since I had this fundraising invitation last week. But, it does make the support offiicial.
From the press release:
Support for United States Senate Candidate Carly Fiorina grew today as she earned the endorsements of eight Republican United States Senators including Tom Coburn, Susan Collins, Lindsey Graham, Jon Kyl, John McCain, Mitch McConnell, Lisa Murkowski and Olympia Snowe.
â€œI am humbled to have earned the endorsement of each one of these distinguished Republican Senators. They are all dedicated public servants and it is a true honor to have their support. I look forward to working with each of these Senators to get our economy moving again and to restore fiscal accountability to Washington,â€ said Fiorina. â€œCalifornia is not getting the kind of representation it deserves in the United States Senate. In nearly 18 years, Barbara Boxer has only managed to get a handful of inconsequential bills signed into law and I donâ€™t believe that is good enough for California. Itâ€™s time for a change.â€
What is most interesting to me is that Fiorina is being supported by a broad base within the Republican Party. There are liberal Republican, moderate Republican and conservative Republican Senators from the East Coast to the Far West who are endorsing Carly and most importantly will help her raise money for her campaign.
Each Senator issued the following:
- â€œOne of Carlyâ€™s greatest strengths is that she has never served in elected office. Her frame of reference was shaped by the real world, not politics. Our nation is facing serious economic challenges because we keep rehiring the same failed career politicians who have proven themselves incapable of making hard choices. Carly’s common sense and fiscal conservatism will be a welcome addition to the United State Senate. I am glad to offer her my endorsement,â€ said Senator Tom Coburn, M.D.
- â€œAs a business leader and innovator, Carly Fiorina will bring great perspective to the United States Senate and she has my full support. She understands that Americans are concerned with the state of the economy and our expanding federal deficit and has the knowledge to help address those issues in a real way,â€ said Senator Susan Collins.
- â€œCarlyâ€™s experience as a business leader has given her the knowledge and tools to help craft policy that will get our economy moving again. There is too much waste in Washington and we need leaders like Carly who can apply what they have learned in the business world to government. She is the best choice for Californians,â€ said Senator Lindsey Graham.
- â€œDuring these tough economic times it is critical that we have leaders who can bring a dedication to fiscal discipline to Washington, and Carly is exactly that kind of leader. I am proud to endorse Carly Fiorina for Senate,â€ said Senator Jon Kyl.
- â€œCarly Fiorina is a visionary Republican leader and I am proud to endorse her to represent the people of California as their next United States Senator. Carly is an outstanding business leader and I benefited from her no-nonsense way of getting things done when she served on my campaign last year. Carly dedicated her time, energy and intelligence to our cause working with Republicans at every level across the country,â€ said Senator John McCain.
- â€œI believe that Carly has what it takes to serve as a U.S. Senator. She will serve the people of California and this nation with integrity, honesty and will fight each and every day to ensure that California is getting the kind of representation it deserves. I am proud to endorse Carly Fiorina,â€ said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.
- â€œCarly is a strong Republican candidate who will put ego aside, reach across the aisle and develop real solutions to the problems we are facing. Her style of innovative leadership and ability to bring people together is desperately needed in Washington. I hope the people of California send Carly to the U.S. Senate next November,â€ said Senator Lisa Murkowski.
- â€œCarly will help us create policies that will put Californians and all Americans back to work. Washington needs business leaders with experience who can help us restore fiscal accountability and get our financial house back in order. I am pleased to endorse Carly and look forward to working to help send her to Washington, DC,â€ said Senator Olympia Snowe.
And, three of the four Republican women Senators have quickly endorsed Fiorina.
The fundraising potenital of all of these Senators will translate into millions of dollars for campaign ads to use in the GOP contested primary election against Chuck DeVore and later in the general election.