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Congressman 'Leaning Against' John McCain Primary

Schweikert is leaning against a Senate bid. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., is "leaning against" mounting a primary challenge to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in 2016, he told CQ Roll Call Wednesday.  

"I would say I’m leaning against it. I think that’s fair," Schweikert said outside the House chambers, when asked about his plans. Schweikert told CQ Roll Call in November that he was considering a Senate bid. McCain has not yet announced his plans for 2016  but has said he will likely seek re-election.  

The congressman said his "wife doesn't like the idea," and she makes "a powerful argument" he should stay where he is in the House on the Financial Services Committee. She pointed out he has "not been thrilled with [his] experience in Congress," he said.  

Schweikert is not eliminating the possibility because, he said, "you don’t know what tomorrow brings, so do you keep at least some optionality ... in your political life as well as your policy life."  

The Hill reported last week that Schweikert and Salmon might team up if one of them ran. Schweikert said while they had discussed running for the seat, they had not started making any concrete plans. If one of them did not run, Schweikert said, he believed there were "dozens of people" who were considering running for the seat.  

Schweikert said his ultimate decision will be based on "data" and "math."  

"You’ve gotta make the first decision of, are you willing to throw yourself on the sword? It’s crazy," he said. "People seem to get their decision making out of order, and they start trying to decide what their campaign colors are gonna before deciding if they should run a campaign."  

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