WESTPORT, Connecticut (CNN) – During a Q&A following a town hall in a New York suburb, a young hedge fund employee asked John McCain if he would consider giving up his Arizona Senate seat this summer. In that scenario, the questioner suggested, the Republican who would replace him would have an easier time defeating an opposing Democrat in a special run-off election because McCain will be at the top of November’s ballot.
“No, I will not,” replied McCain after complimenting the audience member for his knowledge of Arizona election by-laws. McCain added he was confident that a Republican would succeed him if he were elected President so he doesn’t feel the need to resign his seat early.
Towards the end of his answer, however, McCain told the crowd he would entertain the idea.
“I will go back and think about it, and think about the scenario that you just described,” said McCain, adding, “right now my intentions are to remain in the United States Senate.”
McCain was asked the same question in February, telling the Wall Street Journal, “if I get the nomination, we’ll figure it out.” He admitted that time on the trail took him away from his Senate duties.
But now that he has the nomination wrapped up, what will he do? In the same interview, McCain noted that he told Bob Dole in 1996 that he shouldn’t give up his Kansas seat while running for president. In the end, Dole gave up the seat and then lost the race for the presidency.