Jesse Kelly said he will not be running in Congressional District 2, setting up a showdown between newly-elected Ron Barber and political newcomer Martha McSally.
Kelly lost to Democrat Ron Barber in the June 12 special election to replace former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Giffords resigned in January in order to focus on recovery after suffering a gunshot wound to the head last year.
According to the unofficial results, Barber finished with 108,260 votes, and Kelly finished with 94,209. Green Party candidate Charlie Manolakis finished with 4,751 votes.
In a statement Kelly said, “I would like to thank our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, my wife Aubrey, and our supporters for their unwavering commitment to the values that make America great. Looking at the results from Tuesday, we have decided to withdraw from the race for Congress in AZ-02 and to seek other opportunities. I will forever be thankful to our generous supporters and volunteers."
Kelly defeated McSally, Sen. Frank Antenori, and David Sitton in the March Primary Election.
McSally has already said she will run again in the CD2 race.
While the special election was held in CD8, newly-drawn district lines will move the race into CD2 for the August and November elections.
While it is shaping up to be another showdown, residents in Oro Valley and Marana will not be voting in the race.
Marana and Oro Valley residents are now part of Congressional District 1, which extends north through Flagstaff.