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Breakaway senator mulls whether to seek another term

Sen. Bob Worsley smiles big after winning his August 2012 Republican primary. (Photo by Ryan Cook/RJ Cook Photography)

A member of the coalition of Senate Republicans who broke away from the majority party and voted for Gov. Jan Brewer’s Medicaid expansion proposal is contemplating whether to run for office in 2014.

Sen. Bob Worsley, R-Mesa, said that while he intends to run at this point, the decision is one he must still mull over in the coming year – and any reservations he has to running have nothing to do with his vote on Medicaid.

“My wife and I are discussing, do we run again the next time around? This was intended to be a two-year stint, or service for two years, giving back to the community,” Worsley told the Arizona Capitol Times. “We may run again. At this point we intend to. There’s nothing that would cause me not to based on this decision.”

Worsley joined ranks with Senate Majority Leader John McComish, R-Phoenix and Sens. Adam Driggs, R-Phoenix, Rich Crandall, R-Mesa, and Steve Pierce, R-Prescott, on May 16 to cast the deciding votes on a series of budget amendments, including one to expand the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment system.

The move drew the ire of Senate President Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, and the remaining majority of the Senate Republican caucus, some of whom described the five as “traitors.”

Grassroots GOP leaders have promised to find new Republican candidates to challenge Worsley and other senators in primary campaigns next August.

Worsley said he welcomes the challenge, and would have no regrets if he is defeated in the election in 2014.

“I was asked to run, and if this ends up being one term, I have a lot of things I can go do. I have a life, I have a personal life and a business life that is very fulfilling. I’m not worried about a future career in politics that I’m protecting. So I was able to vote with a clear head,” Worsley said.

“I was calm in the decision, I am firm in the decision.   I don’t regret the decision and I don’t really care if I’m primaried or if I have a short career here as a result of it,” he added. “It was the right decision.”

Worsley figures to have a healthy war chest if he must defend himself against a primary challenger next August.  As the founder of SkyMall, Worsley is one of the most wealthy legislators at the Capitol.

Crandall, Worsley’s fellow Mesa Republican, has already announced his intention to resign from the Senate in August, leaving a void that Sen. Al Melvin, R-Tucson said could be filled by a “more conservative Republican.”

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