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  Arizona Republicans Concerned About Holding Renzi’s Seat
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Contributorkarin1492 
Last Editedkarin1492  Apr 23, 2008 01:01pm
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News DateWednesday, April 23, 2008 06:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionArizona Republicans appear to have hit a wall on finding a potential moderate candidate for the vast 1st Congressional District, the seat of retiring GOP Rep. Rick Renzi , who is scheduled to go on trial in October on a 35 count indictment for charges including conspiracy, extortion, money-laundering and wire fraud.

Former state Sen. Ken Bennett said Monday that he decided not to run for northern Arizona seat despite strong pressure from the state party, making him the latest in a series of moderate Republicans the party unsuccessfully has tried to recruit to compete against conservative activist Sydney Hay and businessman Preston Korn in the party’s Sept. 2 primary.

Hay is president of the Arizona Mining Association and lost a bid for the then-open 1st District seat in 2002 to Renzi, and is the front-runner in the race against first-time candidate Korn. But some leading Republicans are concerned that she is too conservative for the district.

Republicans have until the June 4 filing deadline to find another candidate to enter the race, but no moderate GOP contenders are waiting in the wing to get into the contest.

Because of these factors, CQ Politics is changing its rating on the race to Leans Democrat from No Clear Favorite.
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