Napolitano says no to Senate bid in Arizona
February 18th, 2011
12:28 PM ET
11 years ago

Napolitano says no to Senate bid in Arizona

(CNN) - Remember all that talk over the past week that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was thinking of running next year for the open Senate seat in her home state of Arizona?

Well, you can forget about it. The former Democratic governor of Arizona's apparently not interested.

"Secretary Napolitano told senior Democratic Party leaders earlier this week that she will not seek Arizona's open U.S. Senate seat in 2012. She cares deeply about Arizona, but the Secretary intends to continue doing the job that the President asked her to do – protecting the American people from terrorism and other threats to our country," says DHS Spokesman Sean Smith, in a statement Friday. "She's focused on continuing to strengthen our counter-terrorism initiatives, border security, immigration enforcement, transportation and cyber security, and disaster preparedness."

GOP Sen. Jon Kyl, the second ranking Republican in the chamber, announced eight days about that he would not run for a fourth term next year. Monday Republican Rep. Jeff Flake launched his bid for Kyl's seat. Flake instantly won the endorsement of the Club for Growth, a fiscally conservative organization that endorses and contributes to Republican candidates. He also grabbed the support of House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan.

Earlier this week Rep. Trent Franks told CNN that he was "seriously considering" running for Kyl's seat. Former GOP Rep. John Shadegg was a considered another contender for the open seat, but he said on Friday that he would not run. Other possible Republican candidates include Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and state Senate President Russell Pearce.

On the Democratic side, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords had been contemplating a run for Senate before she was shot last month, Democratic sources last week confirmed to CNN. One Democratic congressman told CNN he talked to Giffords about it before the shooting, and says she was "very interested in the possibility of running for the Senate."

–CNN Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN

Filed under: Arizona • Janet Napolitano
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Sue

    Napolitano was already doing polling in Arizona, to see if she had a chance of winning. Based on the polling results, she was informed that she had no chance of winning. That is why Napolitano is now saying 'no' to running, because she knows that she will not win. Arizona was glad to be rid of Napolitano when Obama hired her, and they are no way going to take her back.

    February 18, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  2. Phil in KC

    Why should she? She holds more power where she is.

    February 18, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  3. blake

    We do not need another leftist like Napolitano in the Senate.

    February 18, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  4. ConservaFascists

    I respect Sec. Napolitano's loyalty to the President. DHS in my opinion should have never been created to begin with. I felt at the time that it was just a way for the Bush Administration to expand government. If TeaTards and the ConservaFascists are so concerned about "Big Government." then they need to look no firther than DHS. However, since it's inception, DHS has thwarted some attacks and since Sec. Napolitano has been in charge, intelligence gathering has been better than in previous years. Kudos to them for that.

    February 18, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  5. a little sad

    "Arizona was glad to be rid of Napolitano when Obama hired her, and they are no way going to take her back."

    Don't know who your'e talking to, but you do not speak for all Arizonans. You think we all love Brewer?

    February 18, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    If Arizonans elect a cactus to replace Kyl, it will be a lot smarter than he is, and do a lot less damage to Americans.

    February 18, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  7. cc

    now,if we could just get her to say no to illegal immigration

    February 18, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  8. OBAMA - One Big Arse Mistake America

    This DOLT running for the Senate in Arizona??!! ARE YOU SERIOUS?? Even SHE knows she wouldn't win and would end up being humiliated with a very small percentage voting for her. She has been an abysmal failure in her current job. Hopefully 2012 will bring an end to her miserable public service.

    February 18, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  9. vic nashville tn

    I don’t think she will run because her life insurance rate will go up

    February 18, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  10. gt

    i am sure she would do a great job as senator,,, just like she has done a great job on the illegals crossing over from mexico........not.....

    February 18, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  11. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Considering the abysmal failures that are current senators from Arizona, any democrat would make a great choice. I only wish that MCain would consider retirement, to bring an end to what has become a miserable public life.

    February 18, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  12. OBAMA - One Big Arse Mistake America

    Isn't this the fool that said 'the system worked" when passengers wrestled the underwear bomber to the floor? I'd have a hard time deciding between Holder and this imbecile, who is the most incompetent fool in the Obama administration. She has ALREADY reached the level of her incompetence.

    February 18, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  13. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I am fairly sure that Arizona will continue to elect conservative fascists to the senate.

    February 18, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  14. Duck Fallas

    She has been an abysmal failure in her current job. So bad, in fact, that right wing water heads forgot about the terrorist paranoia and are now focused on... jobs. No, abortions. No, wait, Mexicans. No, I got it- Coulter the Crypt Keeper. Now THAT'S sexy.

    February 18, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  15. CNN The Masters of Spin

    Napolitano had/has about as much chance of winning any office in AZ as Obambi has of winning any office in Texas! What really needs to happen in this country is people like; T'sah from Virginia, Snifit, ConservaFascists, GI Joe, sara, lynn, margie, LOL, Wire Palladin, Lynda/Minn, duke, InMyOpinion, EBC, ThinkAgain, Me.....and many other TAKERS......who sit at home all day and collect some sort of welfare or other government subsidy.....need to get up and get a real job and contribute something to our great country other than endless and useless snipes and garbage fed to them by the DMC......and become a GIVER and not a TAKER, and give some real and useful facts like: Welfare has increased under Obama 54% .

    February 18, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  16. Enough is Enough

    She thought she could by a landslide until she found that her strongest supporters the illegals can't vote yet.

    February 18, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  17. terry, va

    Napolitanio is an Obummie fool. She would NEVER get elected in Arizona after showing her real colors. Crawl under the rock you came out under. You have been a disgrace to border security.

    February 18, 2011 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |