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Sens. Shooter, Nelson headed for primary battle

Sens. John Nelson (left) and Don Shooter (File photos)

A primary matchup is brewing between Sen. John Nelson of Litchfield Park and Sen. Don Shooter of Yuma.

The Republicans have both decided to run for the Senate in new Legislative District 13, an elongated district that stretches from Yuma to Buckeye and Litchfield Park, and also grabs parts of Wickenburg.

Shooter had earlier said that he and Nelson reached a deal to avoid running against each other. Under the supposed deal, Nelson would run for the House while Shooter would run for the Senate.

But Nelson on Thursday affirmed he is running for the Senate.

“I’m not sure there ever was (a deal) in place,” Nelson said. “I’m running for the office that is in my district that I have been for four years.”

Nelson was drawn into the new Legislative District 13, which leans Republican.

Shooter, meanwhile, has decided to move into Nelson’s district after his home was carved into a Democratic-leaning district. Shooter said LD13 is only several blocks away from his current home.

Shooter couldn’t be reached for comment, but his consultant, Constantin Querard, reaffirmed his plans to seek the Senate seat in LD13.

“I guess they’re going to have a primary,” Querard said, adding it would be a very competitive contest for both.

Querard maintained that Nelson had agreed to run for the House but changed his mind.

Nelson is a veteran lawmaker who is considered to be a mainstream Republican while Shooter is a first-term lawmaker with Tea Party roots.

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