The fight for Arizona Sen. John McCain's seat appeared to narrow this week when Rep. David Schweikert, a possible Republican primary challenger, said he was leaning against a 2016 run against McCain, currently serving his fifth term.
While Schweikert and fellow Arizona Republican Rep. Matt Salmon, who are friends, have both indicated an interest in running, they have said that only one of them would enter the race.
"I would say I'm leaning against it. I think that's fair," Schweikert told Roll Call.
In November, Schweikert said he was considering a run against McCain, first elected to the Senate in 1986. Although McCain, 78, has not officially announced his plans, he has said he will likely seek re-election to a sixth Senate term.
Schweikert, first elected to the House in 2010, said his wife "doesn't like the idea" of his running for the Senate. Moreover, she makes "a powerful argument" that he should remain in the House as a member of the Financial Services Committee.
Schweikert said his decision would ultimately depend on "data" and "math" showing whether he has a chance of winning.
"You’ve gotta make the first decision of, are you willing to throw yourself on the sword? It’s crazy," he said. "People seem to get their decision making out of order, and they start trying to decide what their campaign colors are gonna [be] before deciding if they should run a campaign."
If Schweikert or Salmon runs against McCain, both men could be in line for support from the powerful Club for Growth. The group's new president, former Indiana Rep. David McIntosh, said Tuesday that it is considering whether to back a primary challenger against McCain if he runs for re-election.
McIntosh said the Club thinks well of both Reps. Schweikert
and Salmon and may "decide to enter the race."
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