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Democratic leaders meet with potential Arizona Senate candidates

Mark Kelly, Ruben Gallego, Grant Woods could run
Posted at 2:08 PM, Jan 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-17 16:10:21-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — Democrats in Washington are already looking toward the race to fill John McCain's Senate seat in Arizona next year.

A Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) aide confirmed to ABC News that Mark Kelly, Ruben Gallego and Grant Woods have met with the campaign committee.

The aide said Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto were involved in all three meetings.

Democratic Congressman Ruben Gallego has served Arizona in the House of Representatives since 2015.

Mark Kelly, a NASA astronaut, is no stranger to politics -- his wife Gabrielle Giffords represented Arizona in Congress until the 2011 shooting in Tucson.

Grant Woods is perhaps the most surprising of the three potential candidates. A lifelong Republican, Woods served as Arizona Attorney General from 1991 to 1999. He was also John McCain's first chief of staff in Congress, and a close friend to the late senator. He publicly supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

Whoever Democrats decide to run in 2020 will face off against Sen. Martha McSally, who was appointed to the seat and sworn in earlier this year. Her appointment came after Jon Kyl's brief stint in the role, who assumed office after McCain's death in August.