Shadegg Reverses Course, Will Seek Re-election

Posted February 21, 2008 at 7:31pm

Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.) reversed himself late Thursday and in a prepared statement announced he would seek re-election in November. This move comes more than a week after Shadegg announced he would retire from his Republican-leaning, suburban Phoenix 3rd district upon the conclusion of his current term. “Ten days ago, when I announced my intention to leave Congress at the end of my current term,” Shadegg said, “I expected my decision would elicit little reaction here in Arizona, and less in Washington. The events of the last week have, to say the least, stunned and deeply humbled me.” The “reaction” Shadegg was referring to was a letter signed by 145 of his House GOP colleagues urging him to reconsider retirement and seek an eighth term this year. That letter was spearheaded by leaders of the Republican Study Committee, a group of conservative House Republicans once led by Shadegg. Shadegg also described a desire among his constituents that he seek re-election as a reason for his reversal. “Last weekend, returning to Phoenix from Washington, I was trudging through Sky Harbor [Airport] at 5:30 in the morning, having spent four hours sleeping at the Las Vegas airport awaiting a delayed flight,” Shadegg said. “As I walked toward the baggage claim, an airport security worker was walking the opposite direction down the corridor, presumably on his way to work. We exchanged tired glances as we each headed on our separate ways, but just as we passed, he said ‘Run again!’ Shocked, I simply said, ‘Thanks.’ I did not know him, and we exchanged no other words. But he, like thousands of my constituents, just wanted me to know what he thought.” Shadegg’s decision to run for re-election after all has to buoy the National Republican Congressional Committee, which is still faced with 28 open seats even with Arizona’s 3rd district back in the incumbent column. It was not immediately clear if Shadegg’s decision would keep out Republicans who were thinking of running to replace him. Attorney Bob Lord, who had banked more than $500,000 through the end of 2007, is running for the Democrats.