There could be a significant delay before any Democratic candidates declare for the Senate seat of Republican Whip Jon Kyl, who has announced his retirement. As TPMDC has learned, for some time one of the top possible Dem candidates for the seat has been Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who is in physical therapy after she was shot in the head during a constituent event last month.
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A Democratic source in Arizona told us that possible candidates for the seat include Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, former Reps. Harry Mitchell and Ann Kirkpatrick (who were defeated in the 2010 Republican wave), and 2010 candidate for attorney general Felecia Rotellini. Interestingly, the source said there had not been indications that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who was previously the state's two-term governor, might run.
However, the source said, Giffords had long been viewed as a top-tier candidate to either challenge Kyl or run for an open seat, before the events in January. "In our view, she ought to have the right of first refusal," the source said, "and hopefully others will allow her the space and time to recover and make that decision."