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Gould announces exploratory committee for Congress

Sen. Ron Gould, R-Lake Havasu City (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Sen. Ron Gould, a veteran legislator from Lake Havasu City, today took one step closer to running for Congress.

Gould has formed an exploratory committee to determine the viability of seeking the seat in new 4th Congressional District.

This means the Lake Havasu City Republican can start raising money along with determining the level of support he has in what’s dubbed as Arizona’s “river district.”

Gould, who built a reputation as a solid conservative and a no-nonsense legislator, would be a formidable candidate in a Republican-leaning district such as proposed CD4.

But he will also likely face tough opponents, such as Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, who is considered a rising star in Republican circles.

As currently envisioned, Republicans have a nearly 20-percentage point voter registration edge in that district. In a draft version of the new congressional lines, the district stretches from the northern part of Yuma along the Colorado River to the Nevada and Utah borders with Arizona. It also includes most of Yavapai County, as well as parts of Gila, Maricopa and Pinal Counties.

The Independent Redistricting Commission has yet to finalize congressional and legislative district maps.

Gould is termed out of the Senate next year and has the option of also running for the House.

“After speaking to people both in Mohave County and across this new district, it is clear that they want a strong conservative voice representing them in Congress,” Gould said in a news release.

Should he run and win, Gould said his goals in Congress would be similar to causes he has championed in the Legislature.

He said he would work to reduce the size and reach of the federal government, oppose tax increases, pursue security along Arizona’s border with Mexico and stop illegal immigration.

He will also fight for policies to aid the economy and help grow small businesses.

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