The heads of several national conservative organizations will soon send a letter to Rep. John Shadegg (R.-Ariz.) urging the seven-term lawmaker to reverse an earlier decision and run for re-election this year.
This move — agreed on by about a half-dozen of prominent conservative leaders yesterday — comes on the heels of a letter to the Arizonan by 145 Republican colleagues (so far) encouraging Shadegg not to step down, as the conservative stalwart announced earlier in the week. One source, who requested anonymity, confirmed to me that following a private meeting of the conservatives soon after Shadegg’s exodus became public, “a letter to John was being drafted and it is expected to reach him early next week.”
The same source told me that, following the meeting, one of the conservatives telephoned Shadegg to personally encourage him to change his mind and run again.
The retirement decision by Shadegg, son of the late State GOP Chairman and early Barry Goldwater campaign manager Steve Shadegg, has been one that has caused the most dismay (and disbelief) of the twenty-eight GOP House Members who have so far said they are calling it quits in ’08. A former chairman of the House Republican Study Committee, Shaddegg has been one of the most aggressive of conservatives in the House. When Republicans went into the minority in the House after the ’06 elections, HUMAN EVENTS supported Shadegg in the race for Republican Leader. (The Arizona lawmaker placed third in the contest won by Ohio’s John Boehner).
With the best-known conservatives now likely to join most of Shadegg’s colleagues in urging him to stay in Congress, one has to wonder whether George W. Bush or John McCain will be next in crying out: “Don’t go, Johnny!”