A Big Fight For John McCain’s Senate Seat Is Brewing

J. Scott Applewhite/AP
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A big fight seems to be brewing, with Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) seat as the prize.

On Tuesday, David McIntosh, the new president of the Club for Growth, signaled at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast that his tea party-aligned organization would look at Reps. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) and David Schweikert (R-AZ), both who have signaled interest in waging a primary challenge against McCain.

The Hill recently reported that both congressman have been analyzing the race, but since they’re close friends, only one of them will likely decide to challenge McCain.

McIntosh said at the breakfast that his group was in the early stages of looking at the 2016 Senate races but suggested that Club for Growth would closely watch McCain’s re-election. McCain will be a top target of conservatives seeking to knock off one of the more moderate-aligned Republicans in the Senate.

“In Arizona, we will watch that carefully,” McIntosh said. “We will look at John’s record and his score. We’ll see if either of the two members who, you’re right, the Club’s supported and thinks well of in Congress. Does one of them decide to enter the race? And then we’re disciplined about it so we’ll do research and polling and determine is there a path to victory and is the money well spent.”

McCain hasn’t formally said whether he will run for re-election or not but in January the Associated Press reported that he’s “likely” to run again.

On the Democratic side, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) recently created a new political action committee which will let her hoard cash, possibly in preparation of running for McCain’s seat. The Arizona Republic, which first reported Sinema’s new Getting Stuff Done PAC, suggested that Sinema could decide to run against McCain in 2016 or Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) in 2018.

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