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Jesse Kelly still weighing repeat try at Congress seat
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Jesse Kelly still weighing repeat try at Congress seat

  • Jesse Kelly prior to conceding the race Tuesday night.
    Kevin Asher/TucsonSentinel.comJesse Kelly prior to conceding the race Tuesday night.

Jesse Kelly is taking more time to decide if he'll remain in the CD2 primary race.

"We are spending some time catching up with family and prayerfully reflecting on the future," he said in a statement released by spokesman John Ellinwood.

"We expect to have an announcement about our future plans in the next day or two," Kelly said.

Kelly's loss in Tuesday's special electon by about 13,000 votes marked his second failure to win the CD 8 seat in under two years. He lost to Giffords by 4,000 votes in 2010.

Ron Barber edged out Kelly by seven percent: 101,559 to 88,569 votes.

"I wouldn't have done a thing differently," Kelly told supporters in a concession speech as election results were reported.

"We came into this race with a plan ... the voters of Southern Arizona have chosen something different and that's fine," he said.

Kelly gave thanks to his family and friends, and announced that he would "most likely" run again in the fall.

A short statement posted Wednesday morning on Kelly's Facebook and Twitter pages said just "Thank you all for everything."

Just before 5 p.m., Kelly posted Teddy Roosevelt's "Man in the Arena" passage on Facebook, writing that it was "For all of you who fought along side us (sic)."

Also in the Republican primary in the newly drawn 2nd Congressional District is Martha McSally, who finished a strong second to Kelly in the CD8 GOP primary. Political novice Mark Koskiniemi will also be on the GOP primary ballot.

Neither state Sen. Frank Antenori nor Dave Sitton filed to run in CD2, after trailing in the CD8 primary.

On the Democratic side, the newly elected Barber faces a primary challenge from state Rep. Matt Heinz, who said Wednesday that he's still in the race.

"We are blessed by God to live in a country where voters get exactly what they want," Kelly told supporters Tuesday night. "They have spoken here and we respect that."

Most of the current 8th District will be in the new 2nd District, created through the congressional reapportionment process held every decade.

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