Re-elected this month to serve a sixth term in the Senate, Arizona Sen. John McCain won’t rule out running again in 2022.
In his election night victory speech, McCain called himself “the luckiest guy I know” and thanked his constituents for electing him to what he insinuated might be his final term.
But just over a week later, McCain, 80, told The Arizona Republic he won’t be making any decisions on a potential seventh Senate campaign for at least three years, leaving the door open for another run.
First elected in 1986, McCain is one of the most senior members of the Senate, and as chairman of the Armed Services Committee, he still wields a significant amount of power and influence.
In the last week, McCain has also tried to buoy Senate Republicans to take a hard line against President-elect Donald Trump’s seemingly cozy relationship with Russia.
In a statement released the day after Trump’s first phone call as president-elect with Vladimir Putin, McCain indirectly warned Trump to be wary of the Russian president’s friendly overtures.
“With the U.S. presidential transition underway, Vladimir Putin has said in recent days that he wants to improve relations with the United States,” McCain said. “We should place as much faith in such statements as any other made by a former KGB agent who has plunged his country into tyranny, murdered his political opponents, invaded his neighbors, threatened America’s allies, and attempted to undermine America’s elections.”
Utah Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, the president pro tempore of the Senate, also recently hinted that he might seek re-election in 2018. Currently in his seventh term, Hatch, 82, is the longest serving Republican in the Senate.