Jesse Kelly

Jesse Kelly

Randy Metcalf/The Explorer

Pulling into campaign mode, Republican Jesse Kelly is already claiming to be the top candidate for his party in the race to replace Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in District 8.

However, Kelly has not officially announced he will be running. John Ellinwood, a spokesman for Kelly, said the candidate would be making an official announcement some time next week on whether or not he will officially run for the vacant seat.

Giffords, who stepped down on Sunday in order to focus on her recovery after being shot in the head last year, is in the middle of her third term in office.

Due to her resignation, Gov. Jan Brewer has until Saturday to set the dates for the mid-term elections, which are expected to take place in April and June.

Kelly was a political newcomer in 2010 when he ran for the District 8 seat, winning the primary, but losing by a small margin to Giffords in the general.

Kelly's camp appears confident in the early stages, already claiming that poll numbers are working in his favor.

According to poll numbers released by Kelly's office, the Republican candidate holds a 2.5 to 1 lead over Rep. opponent District 30 Sen. Frank Antenori,

According to the release, the poll was conducted on Jan. 24 and Jan. 25 with 300 "likely primary voters."

Kelly holds the edge, with 35 percent of definite and leaning voters. Antenori received 15 percent approval, while local sports broadcaster Dave Sitton received 7 percent.

In response to the results, Kelly said, "We are humbled by the strong support from the people of Southern Arizona. I have heard from any families who are ready for Congress to focus on improving the economy and helping the private sector create good-paying jobs in Arizona."

Ellinwood said the Kelly camp contracted with the firm Teleopinion Research to conduct the poll, which has a margin of error of 5.5 percent.

In the poll, 52 percent of those surveyed were women, 48 percent were men.

Ellinwood said the poll results is one of many factors that will help Kelly's decision on whether or not to run in the special election.



(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.