January 23rd, 2010
12:54 PM ET
12 years ago

Hayworth says he will challenge McCain

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/23/art.hayworth.gi.jpg caption="Hayworth says he will challenge McCain."](CNN) - Former Rep. J.D. Hayworth of Arizona says he's planning to challenge fellow Republican John McCain for his senate seat.

The former six-term congressman stepped down Friday as host of his conservative talk radio program on a radio station in Phoenix.

"We will formally announce at a later time, but we're moving forward to challenge John McCain," Hayworth told the Associated Press. "I think we all respect John. I think his place in history is secure. But after close to a quarter-century in Washington, it's time for him to come home."

Shiree Verdone, McCain's campaign manager, said in a statement, "Senator McCain has always taken every challenge seriously, and is confident with the help and support from the people of Arizona that he will be re-elected to the United States Senate."

Hayworth would not have been able to continue hosting a radio program and also legally run for federal office. Hayworth was ousted from Congress in the 2006 election and has hosted the radio show for the past few years.

"It has been a joy to spend weekday afternoons on KFYI. Now, another chapter begins. The call to public service remains, and again it may very well lead to pursuit of public office," Hayworth said in a statement posted on the radio station's website.

Hayworth told AP that a recent "outpouring of support" from people in Arizona asking him to run changed his mind about challenging McCain, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee and four-term senator who's up for re-election this year.

McCain's already facing a primary challenge from Chris Simcox, a co-founder of the Minuteman movement.  Simcox announced his candidacy last April and then resigned from the volunteer organization, which tries to prevent illegal crossings of the U.S. border. McCain's past support of immigration reform legislation in Congress nearly derailed his presidential bid two years ago.

Wednesday McCain's running mate in 2008, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, announced she would travel to Arizona to campaign with McCain in March. Palin is very popular with many voters on the right, and her teaming up with McCain could help him with some Republican voters who question his commitment to conservative values and goals.

- CNN's Paul Steinhauser and David DeSola contributed to this report.

Filed under: J.D. Hayworth • John McCain
soundoff (133 Responses)
  1. ICARE

    To EliminateCNN

    It's amazing that the elephants gave us an economy with gas prices of $3-5/gallon of gas and people still want them in office.

    We need to stop bathing in the mud with the elephants and move to the Jetson Age... Go DONKEYS GO!! GO ELEPHANTS WITH BRAINS TO MOVE FORWARD....

    Let's stop moving backward and enter the age of extinction

    January 23, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  2. Aunt Bea and Opie

    What a laugh,another rightwing Knuckledragger they found in a cave somewhere.hahaha

    January 23, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  3. ICARE

    We need term limits. It's not their fault they are in there from birth until RIP.

    January 23, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  4. mrrationalhbg

    This really puts Palin in a pickle. Who will she turn her back on? The tea baggers or McCain? Can't wait to see how this disaster pans out!

    January 23, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. Tammy in Arizona

    I live in Arizona and I'm sure of few of our state representatives have some negative back ground, but J.D.!! J.D. Hayworths criminal back ground list is all to well known here in Az.
    Maybe he's reformed?

    January 23, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  6. Ms S Callahan

    John is not immune...he's caught in the 'get the bums out' theme....
    Hayworth will most likely win..just on the anger vote alone.

    January 23, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  7. TBA

    This is going to be a intresting Race due to the fact that Palin is pushing for McCain but she is also a Tea Bagger backer. Note there was no such thing as a Tea Bagger Movement during the Bush Admin. but soon as Obama is in there is this movement with lies about his orgin.

    January 23, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  8. Jacob

    dump all of these 6-term plus senators! Republican and Democrat – this country needs a new direction in step with the upcoming generations!

    January 23, 2010 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  9. Ruth

    I hope the good people of Arizona have the good sense to vote McCain out. He has fooled those people far too long.

    January 23, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  10. Beau

    It 'IS' time for McCain to go home ...... but which one???? Does he even know how many he has now? He didn't know how many he had in the 2008 election! Does he know where they are? Does he know where he is??? He looks confused, tired and out of touch ....... just like the GOP.

    January 23, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  11. Eliminate CNN

    I'm so excited, I just wet myself.

    Go Hayworth!

    January 23, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  12. Fooled Again

    Good, it's time to get someone in office that has a clue. McCain needs to go, he's not Republican or Conservative.

    January 23, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  13. Betty

    Gee Whiz, McCain has more knowledge in his little right PINKIE than what his running partner has in his entire body, we do not need another idiot in the running, just look what the Pres promised and promised, did we see any of his promises materialize? Hel- no, we the people that was snoockered by Obama lies, has just about destroyed us honest Americans, dear lord we do not need another fool that wants to give Obama some competition, we need Obama and all the other fools that think us Americans can be hoodwicked a second time just go back and crawl under the rock you came out of.
    When you make your crawl, take Pelosi, Reid and a few more with you.Betty

    January 23, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  14. OETKB

    Great. So republican these days. Replace a no show, no vote with a loud mouth fanatic. Yuck. It amazes me how half of this country refuses and hates to ask of directions, refuse to admit they do not know it all, feel entitled because they are white and male and require fanatics to appease their egos. So republican. Admit it.

    January 23, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  15. Paul

    McCain has been a good senator. JD is just a moron baboon wack job.

    January 23, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  16. Alan, Phoenix

    McCain is an insane but JD Hayworth is a sick man. I am going to vote for McCain, forgiving his mistake of bringing Palin to limelight.

    Never th

    January 23, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  17. Alan, Phoenix

    McCain is an insane but JD Hayworth is a sick man. I am going to vote for McCain, forgiving his mistake of bringing Palin to limelight.

    Never thought that I would say this again, but here it comes....
    GO McCAIN !!!!!!!

    January 23, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  18. Steve851

    McCain ain't perfect, but this Tea Partier supports him big time. He has no serious challenge that I can see. Doctrinaire kooks are push overs when McCain is taking things seriously, as he is. Go John, and thank you!

    January 23, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  19. Timus

    McCain will reap what he sowed. I think he's just the first. There will be many Republicans swept out by the "angry" crowd.

    January 23, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  20. cardsman

    Arizona is full of racist republicans and old people. The FOX news morons are out in droves.

    January 23, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  21. JR

    I always wondered which paid better, a talking fathead on radio or a US senator, this freak answers the question.

    January 23, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  22. GI Joe

    McCain's wife will buy the seat for him again. She doesn't want him around her.

    January 23, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  23. A Guy

    Well, unlike a lot of the conservative commentary here, I'm not going to lob out insults or post ignorant comments about anyone.

    I'd like to see a Democrat take that seat.

    Because I believe Republicans represent everything that is wrong with this country.

    January 23, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  24. Gordon Shumway

    Hayworth was ousted from congress for a good reason. The electorate haven't forgotton why; apparently he has...........

    Best to go back to your radio job!

    January 23, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  25. Albert K. L.A., CA

    John McCain recklessly picked Sarah the hockey mom presuming she had a brain and then tried to hide her from the press to selfishly preserve his chance to be president even if it meant a total ditz would be only a heart beat away form the presidency. McCain is an incompetent decision maker and that is why he will loose. As Sarah would say. “It’s God’s plan!”

    January 23, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
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