130 Colleagues Urge Shadegg to Stay

Posted February 14, 2008 at 6:29pm

Motivated by a letter signed by more than 130 of his House GOP colleagues urging him to forgo retirement and run for re-election, Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.) could be reconsidering his decision to call it quits upon the conclusion of his current term, a well-placed Republican source said late Thursday. The letter, spearheaded by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), comes in response to Shadegg’s surprise decision, announced Monday, not to seek an eighth House term. Pence, a former chairman of the Republican Study Committee — a caucus of conservative House Republicans — followed Shadegg in that post. “As your colleagues, your fellow conservatives, and your friends, we sincerely ask that you reconsider your decision to retire from Congress,” reads the letter, a copy of which was obtained by Roll Call. “John, you continue to inspire, embolden, and lead. The Republican Conference needs you here, the Conservative Movement needs you here, and the country needs you here. Please reconsider.” The letter was circulating on Capitol Hill on Thursday, although Shadegg had yet to officially receive it, according to the source, who nevertheless said that the “unprecedented” nature of so many Members appealing for Shadegg to reconsider was giving him pause. “Never before have more than 130 members signed a letter asking a fellow Member to stay,” the source said. “I’m sure [Shadegg] takes that seriously.” Shadegg raised more than $1 million in 2007 to close the year with $864,000 on hand, and had given every indication that he was going to run for re-election this year in his Republican-leaning, suburban Phoenix 3rd district. In the wake of his retirement announcement Monday, a half-dozen Republicans were contemplating running for his seat. Attorney Bob Lord, who had banked more than $500,000 at the end of 2007, is the likely Democratic nominee. Late last year, House Republican leaders tried to persuade Rep. Jim Ramstad (R-Minn.) to reverse the retirement announcement he had made early in the fall, but he has yet to do so. — David M. Drucker