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File: Kyrsten Sinema
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., speaks on Capitol Hill in 2021.Michael Brochstein / Sipa USA via AP file

Eyes on 2024: Arizona Senate race shaping up

Democratic Rep. Greg Stanton won't run, likely clearing the party's primary path for Rep. Ruben Gallego.

By and

The Arizona Senate race is continuing to take shape, with one potential candidate announcing Thursday that he has decided not to run. 

Democratic Rep. Greg Stanton tweeted a statement saying that “now is not the right time to run.” NBC News’ Vaughn Hillyard reports that Stanton’s decision likely clears the Democratic primary for Rep. Ruben Gallego, the only Democrat who has taken public steps towards a run. Newsweek reports that Gallego is planning to announce his Senate run on Monday.

Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who recently left the Democratic Party, has not yet said if she is running for a second term. Multiple Republicans are weighing runs, including Kari Lake and Blake Masters, who lost races for governor and Senate respectively in 2022. That list also includes Jim Lamon, a solar energy executive who lost the GOP primary to Masters last year. 

Stephen Puetz, a Lamon advisor, said in a statement to NBC News, “Jim knows that the right Republican could have beaten [Democratic Sen. Mark] Kelly and will get elected to the US Senate in 2024. If a winning candidate emerges, he will strongly back that person — if not, Jim will run in 2024.” 

In other campaign news:

Warren says she’s in: NBC News’ Ali Vitali reports that Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren is reiterating her intentions to run again, telling Boston’s WBZTV that while she’s making a formal announcement “sometime soon” that she’s “committed to running for re-election.”

Tim Kaine watch: Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine will announce on Friday whether or not he’s running for re-election next year, NBC News’ Ryan Nobles reports. 

Praying for evangelical support: NBC News’ Jonathan Allen and Marc Caputo write about how former President Donald Trump’s complicated relationship with evangelical voters opens up that lane for other potential competitors

Friendly fire: Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley fired back after former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote in his book that she, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner pitched her as a replacement vice presidential candidate, calling the accusation “lies and gossip to sell a book.” Haley went on to tell Fox News to “stay tuned” as she considers a presidential bid. 

Incumbent discomfort: A new poll finds that 57% of registered Mississippi voters would prefer to vote for someone else rather than re-electing GOP Gov. Tate Reeves

Florida says no to new AP course on Black history: Florida’s Department of Education nixed a new Advanced Placement African American Studies course, saying it’s “inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value.” It’s an issue that will likely come up with potential presidential hopeful Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has in the past criticized certain curricula as “woke.” 

McCormick tiptoes toward bid: Pennsylvania GOP Republican Dave McCormick continues to stoke interest among prominent Pennsylvania Republicans who want him to run for Senate this cycle. 

ActBlue gets a new CEO: The Democratic fundraising platform ActBlue named Regina Wallace-Jones, a former tech executive who previously served as East Palo Alto’s mayor in 2020, as its new CEO. 

Another day, another headline: The saga with New York Rep. George Santos continued on Thursday, with new revelations about a past that Santos has misrepresented. Santos on Thursday denied reporting that he performed as a drag queen in Brazil, as reports also emerged that he pocketed money intended for a sick dock and misrepresented whether his mother was at the World Trade Center on 9/11.

The race for Chicago’s next mayor: Mayor Lori Lightfoot is spending more campaign money than she brings in at this point, just over one month before the city’s election, the Chicago Tribune reported. Last night, Lightfoot met the eight candidates vying to replace her on the debate stage, where they challenged her on issues like crime and affordable housing.