Former Clear Channel Phoenix market Talker J.D. Hayworth, who also has a stint in the US House of Representatives on his resume, has announced that he is in fact challenging Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for the Republican nomination to run for the US Senate this year.
Hayworth had been doing political Talk for KFYI-AM in Phoenix until mutually agreeing with his employer to vacate the airwaves in anticipation of his re-entry into elective politics. Supporters of McCain had been questioning the air presence of a probable candidate, charging that it amounted to a contribution by Clear Channel to Hayworth’s presumed campaign.
There is nothing presumed about it any longer. He is definitely running. And according to a report, a third Republican, illegal immigration foe Chris Simcox, is withdrawing from the race and throwing his support to Hayworth.
RBR-TVBR observation: This primary is likely for all the marbles. Both CQ Politics and the Cook Political Report rate Arizona’s Senate seat as safe Republican.
Nevertheless, this one could get ugly – Hayworth’s name has been mentioned in the context of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff which has supposedly fueling an anti-Hayworth “whisper campaign.” But according to TheHill.com, Hayworth says he’s more than willing to discuss McCain’s role in the Keating Five if Abramoff suddenly becomes a campaign issue.