PHOENIX — State Sen. Kelly Townsend is folding her congressional bid, a move that could pave the way for her to take on the recently censured Sen. Wendy Rogers in a legislative race.
Townsend, an Apache Junction Republican, said she made the decision after failing to get an anticipated endorsement from former President Donald Trump.
She said her fate with Trump was sealed when she publicly lashed out this week at Rogers, who is closely linked to Trump and insists, as does he, that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
“The lack of the endorsement means that instead of being able to unite the field behind a single banner, my presence in the Republican primary will serve only to split the conservative vote even further,” Townsend said, explaining why she is dropping out of the race for the congressional seat currently occupied by Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick, who is not seeking reelection.
But Townsend said Friday she has yet to decide whether to run for another two-year term in the state Senate. To do so would pave the way for a head-to-head GOP primary with Rogers.
Rogers may face further actions
Rogers, a Flagstaff Republican, not only was censured this week for “conduct unbecoming a senator,” but could face further actions, especially after using the censure to raise campaign money, Senate President Karen Fann said Friday.