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5/7/2012 11:41:00 AM
Tobin won't run for Congress, but will seek re-election to state House
House Speaker Andy Tobin, R-Paulden
House Speaker Andy Tobin, R-Paulden
Joanna Dodder Nellans
The Daily Courier

Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin, R-Paulden, told The Daily Courier Monday morning he that he will not run for the 4th Congressional District seat.

Tobin had been considering the job for weeks. Three other Republicans already have announced they are seeking the job, but none are from Tobin's home base of Yavapai County, where Tobin said he was getting a lot of support.

"It's late in the day to raise money, and I've got a commitment to help Republicans keep the (Arizona) House majority and help Mitt Romney," Tobin said. "Sometimes the public likes to know that people are making decisions for others, rather than themselves."

Tobin will run for the Arizona House this fall, but the law limits him to just one more consecutive term there. He has served three terms since 2006.

Tobin hopes his Republican colleagues will support him as speaker next year, too.

"We are coming back from our worst economic crisis since the Great Depression," Tobin said in a written announcement shortly after speaking to The Daily Courier. "While Arizona's fiscal health has improved dramatically over the past two years, there is still much that needs to be done. I intend to continue my work here at home as Speaker of the House. I have a longer-term vision for moving Arizona forward."

Tobin acknowledged to the Courier that whatever Republican wins in the newly redistricted conservative CD4 could probably hold that position for many terms.

However, "If I serve two more years in the House and the worse thing I have is to go home, that's fine," he said.

U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Flagstaff, Arizona Sen. Ron Gould, R-Lake Havasu City, and Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu all have announced their candidacy for CD4.

Tobin said he had heard constituents raise specific concerns about each of those candidates.

Gosar abandoned the newly drawn CD1 to run in CD4 where it's easier for a Republican to win, Tobin said. Gould is having a hard time raising money, Tobin added, and Babeu "has his issues," referring to federal and state investigations stemming from Babeu's relationship with a male campaign worker from Mexico.

Gould's financial picture brightened Tuesday when he received an endorsement from the powerful conservative Club for Growth, which has one of the largest Super PACs in the country.

Tobin's fellow Legislative District 1 legislators said he would have made a great congressman, but they are happy for the opportunity to keep working with Tobin in Phoenix.

"It's good for the district for Andy to stay where he is, and great for Prescott, but he would also have been good in Congress," said Senate President Steve Pierce, R-Prescott. "I'm excited he's going to still be working with me."

Rep. Karen Fann, R-Prescott, said she told Tobin she'd support whatever he chose to do, although she told him she was concerned about him delaying a decision on the CD4 race since numerous debates already have taken place and nomination petitions are due in just a few weeks.

"He would say, 'I've got to finish the job I was elected to do first,'" Fann related. The legislative session ended Thursday.

Tobin said he really wasn't leaning one way or another about the CD4 job until Monday.

His family was supportive of whatever he decided, "although I think I'd be lying to say they'd want me flying to Washington every week," Tobin said.

Tobin is a co-chair of Romney's Arizona campaign for president.

Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Article comment by: Kristy K.

Go Andy Tobin! You have many many supporters.

Posted: Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Article comment by: Dan G

RE The Comment that Tobin wold be less dangerous in Washington:
I have had three suggestions for Tobin to remedy situations that were unfair or inequitable, and were common sense"Fixes".
In all three, I received a letter from some bureaucrat, stating a bureaucrat's favorite line: :WE CAN'T DO THAT".

Posted: Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Article comment by: keen observer

Clearly Tobin weighed his chances for the House seat and decided he could not win, even against the three flawed candidates now in the race. Surprised he did not say he "wanted to spend more time with his family."

Let us hope that he uses his last term in Phoenix more productively than his previous terms and serves Yavapai County rather than the special interests whose legislation he has sponsored and backed. We badly need representation concerned with ordinary voters and taxpayers. We are forgotten.

Posted: Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Article comment by: Tom Steele

Good choice Andy. Arizona needs you. Your non fans speaking out here are just unaware of your work in the legislature or are just sore butt Democrats.

Posted: Monday, May 07, 2012
Article comment by: the circus continues

... these candidates are the reason why people stay home and don't vote. They do nothing but campaign for money. It's becoming more and more farcical each year candidates like this run for office!

Posted: Monday, May 07, 2012
Article comment by: What a bummer!


He'd be less dangerous in DC than in PHX...

We've got three incompetents, so far, on the ballot. Surely a last minute entry will save the day! Carol Springer? Lucy Mason? Hell - even Tom Steele!

Posted: Monday, May 07, 2012
Article comment by: Old Timer

A wise decision. Ambition is not entirely a bad thing, but Rep. Tobin needs to fill the office he was elected to. Lets hope he concentrates more on representing LD1 and not more ball playing with Maricopa County. Sure, he is compromised by being Speaker, but he still has constituants and it is sad to see him vote against their interests.

Posted: Monday, May 07, 2012
Article comment by: Too good to be true

Let's see, ... a dentist that can't raise money. A gay Sheriff with baggage. A gun nut backed by (?).
Yes, one of them is sure to hold on to that seat for a long, long time.
If only I was eighty, then I wouldn't need to think about the future.

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