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Gallego eyes U.S. Senate in 2020

U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego

U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego

Congressman Ruben Gallego is considering a run for the United States Senate in 2020, when a special election will be held for the final two years of the late Sen. John McCain’s term.

Gallego told the Arizona Capitol Times that Democratic senators and activists have encouraged him to run, and that he is seriously looking at the race.

“We’re going to get through these November elections, make sure the Democrats take control, and then after that, I’m going to meet together with family, friends and supporters and decide next year whether to run for Senate,” he said.

The biggest determining factor, he said, is whether he’ll have enough time to spend with his son, who turns two years old in January.

“That’s definitely the most important thing, and, after that, to make sure that we’re going to be doing right by the state by making sure we take it back. And if we think that we can put the strongest campaign together to make sure that we’re a check on the president, then we’ll do it,” he said.

Gallego expects the Democratic base to be enthusiastic in 2020, with higher turnout among Latinos and millennials, and he believes he can energize those voters. He said he could face a contested primary, though that wouldn’t deter him.

“We feel confident we would win a primary, so that won’t be the determination of whether I run or not,” Gallego said

So far, the only candidate who has expressed interest in seeking the Democratic nomination for the 2020 Senate race is former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods. Woods, a close confidante of McCain who served as his chief of staff in the U.S. House of Representatives, is a Republican but is considering running as a Democrat.

Gov. Doug Ducey appointed former U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl to McCain’s seat on September 4. But Kyl said he won’t run in 2020, and he may not serve past the end of the year. If Kyl steps down early, Ducey will have to appoint someone else to the seat.

Gallego is running for his third term in the House of Representatives. He faces a Green Party opponent but has no Republican opponent in the general election.

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