Congressman Antenori?

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The Range caught up with state Sen. Frank Antenori on the state Capitol lawn today, and although he hasn't officially announced, it's clear he's running for Congressional District 8 in the special election to replace Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Antenori is supposed to make a big announcement in Green Valley this Friday — and we’re willing to bet a 24oz hunk of charred mammal meat that he’s getting into the race for Congressional District 8.

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The question is: Will he resign his state Senate seat to focus on the Congressional campaign?

“I haven’t decided (if I’m going to resign). I really, seriously haven’t — I’m taking advice from a lot of people right now,” he said, noting he would probably make a decision sometime next week.

Because he’s in his final year of the term, Antenori can choose to keep his state Senate seat and run for Congress simultaneously — or resign from the Senate and focus his energy on the Congressional campaign.

Rumor also has it that beaten CD8 candidate Jesse Kelly is looking to another run for Giffords’ seat — and Antenori had some harsh words for the man who within a percentage point of unseating Giffords in 2010, and then left Arizona for Texas.

“We went through a period of time in the state where there were a lot of political battles,” he said, citing the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission and the Tucson City Council. “Some of us stayed to fight those battles and work for the conservative cause in the party and some of us didn’t.”

“When the going gets tough, Jesse Kelly gets going,” he said.

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