Jon Kyl May Not Run For Re Election In 2012

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
Jon Kyl


Long time opponent of the Internet gambling sector, Arizona Republican Senator Jon Kyl has not yet committed to running again in 2012.  Kyl is currently the number two man in the GOP whip.

Kyl had worked on bills to prohibit online gambling in the US beginning in 1999.  In 2006, he finally succeeded by rushing through the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA), a watered down version of his original bill that was attached to an unrelated port security act.

In recent days, Kyl has vehemently opposed a bill drafted by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that would have legalized Internet poker in the US.

Despite UIGEA being signed into law in October 2008, the prohibition has had a nominal impact with US citizens gambling more than a billion dollars with offshore betting establishments.

There are few indications suggesting that Kyl is set to run again.  According to, the current head of the Arizona Republican Party believes it is unlikely.  Kyl is yet to activate his political organization nor has he initiated major fundraising efforts.

The last time Kyl ran, the online gambling sector launched a campaign within the state notifying Arizona gamblers (sports bettors and poker players) of their Senator’s co-sponsorship of UIGEA.  Another co-sponsor of the bill, Republican Representative from Iowa Jim Leach, was effectively removed from office.

Should Kyl decide to run again, he is not likely to run into stiff opposition.  GOP operatives noted that Kyl can quickly organize a re-election campaign with nominal fundraising efforts.

“When I make my announcement, you’ll be the second to know,” Kyl told Politico this week when asked when he’d make a statement on his future plans.

- Aaron Goldstein,

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