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  Hayworth 'may' be ready to test Senate waters
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Last EditedArmyDem  Dec 30, 2009 02:51pm
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MediaNewspaper - Arizona Republic (Phoenix)
News DateTuesday, December 29, 2009 08:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionFormer Republican Rep. J.D. Hayworth continues to tease about his possible 2010 political ambitions.

Hayworth, who became a radio talk show host after losing his 2006 House re-election bid, has been talking about possibly challenging Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in next year's GOP Senate primary.

On his KFYI radio show Monday, Hayworth told his listeners that he went to Washington, D.C., this month and "we may have moved past due diligence into something that is more than a legal term of art . . . something called 'testing the waters.' So stay tuned on that."

Federal Election Commission regulations allow candidates to set up preliminary "testing-the-waters" or "exploratory" committees without registering. But Hayworth would have to file an official statement with the FEC once he decides to become a candidate and spends or raises more than $5,000.

Grant Woods, a former Arizona attorney general and onetime McCain chief of staff, on Dec. 15 filed a complaint with the FEC alleging that Hayworth already is a de facto candidate and KFYI's owner, San Antonio, Texas-based Clear Channel Communications, is providing him with a corporate gift by allowing him to campaign ad nauseum on the airwaves.

Hayworth, who maintains a legal defense fund to pay off a lingering debt related to his previous tenure in Congress, made the latest comments while criticizing a Dec. 17 Arizona Republic editorial that suggested he "is shaking down his listeners with all those 'taking on McCain' fantasies." Hayworth said he has never used his KFYI program to solicit money for the fund.
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