Jesse Kelly puts ’12 campaign on hiatus

| August 22 2011
Christopher Cook

From the AZ Republic:

Jesse Kelly, the Republican challenger who gave U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords a tough fight last year, is keeping his 2012 campaign on hiatus despite a potential GOP rival’s decision to form an exploratory committee in Giffords’ district.

After his 4,156-vote loss in 2010, Kelly was poised to seek a rematch and late last year even filed to run again, his spokesman John Ellinwood said. But after Giffords, D-Ariz., was wounded in a Jan. 8 assassination attempt, Kelly suspended his nascent campaign. Although he has kept his Federal Election Commission paperwork up to date and still identifies himself on his Facebook page as a “candidate for Arizona’s 8th Congressional District,” Kelly has not done any fundraising this year.

“He is not actively campaigning,” Ellinwood said Thursday. “Jesse is busy working hard in the private sector during the week. On the weekends, he spends time with his family or he’s at church.”

It is presumed in many circles that Giffords, were she to choose to run again, would enjoy so much goodwill as a result of the serious injuries inflicted upon her—and her admirable fight to recover from them—that she would be unbeatable in the general election.

It has also been suggested that Democrats are intentionally seeking to delay this decision in order to prevent credible challengers from entering the race and gathering momentum. Whether that is so or not is unclear. But it does look like Kelly, for one, is balking at a race that, absent the terrible attack on Giffords, he would very likely be contesting in earnest.

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