Arizona Gov. Ducey says he won't run against Mark Kelly for Senate

“I’m not running for the United States Senate. It’s a no. I’m 100 percent focused on being the governor of the state of Arizona,” he said in an interview with The New York Times that was published Saturday. “I’ve accepted the role as the chairman of the [Republican Governors Association]. So I’ve got a full-time job and then I’ve got a full-time job beyond that. And that’s what my focus is.”

Kelly’s seat, which he won in a special election in November and is up again in 2022 for a full term, is a top priority for Republicans in the midterms. The party is eager to make up ground in the state after ceding both of its Senate seats to Democrats and losing the presidential race to President Joe Biden, marking the first time a Democratic presidential nominee has won Arizona since 1996.

Republicans had speculated that Ducey would be a strong candidate given his proven ability to win statewide in a state that has gradually shifted to the left.