Phoenix Mayor Stanton considering a run for Congress

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Phoenix Mayor Stanton. (August 11, 2017) [Source: 3TV/ CBS 5 News] Phoenix Mayor Stanton. (August 11, 2017) [Source: 3TV/ CBS 5 News]
Rep. Krysten Sinema. (August 11, 2017) [Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News] Rep. Krysten Sinema. (August 11, 2017) [Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News]

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton is preparing to run for Congress as speculation about Rep. Kyrsten Sinema's future could dramatically alter Arizona's political landscape.

Stanton's staff would not comment on their boss's plans, but former Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon confirmed Stanton is ready to make the jump if Sinema decides to run for the U.S. Senate.

[RELATED: Dem AZ Rep. Sinema 'seriously considering' Senate challenge]

"His exact words to me were, 'I'm hearing Kyrsten is running for Senate, if she does, I'm running for Congress,"" Gordon said in describing a recent conversation he had with Stanton.

Should Sinema, a Democrat, run for the higher office it would open up Arizona's 9th Congressional district, which covers east Phoenix and swaths of the East Valley and Scottsdale.

If that happens, Stanton may not be the only notable Democrat running in the primary.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona Politics]

Multiple sources have also confirmed that Chad Campbell, the former House Minority Leader in the state Legislature, is being recruited to run for the seat should it open up.

Sinema would be heavily favored to win the Democratic primary over Deedra Abboud and challenge Republican Sen. Jeff Flake in next year's General Election.

Currently, Sinema has over $3.2 million in her campaign account, more that Flake's $2.9 million, according the Federal Election Commission.

Flake is considered one of the most vulnerable Republican senators up for re-election next year.

Recent polling pegged him as the third most unpopular senator in the country with a 37 percent approval rating.

Flake, who will also face a primary challenger, has made few friends in conservative circles with his support of comprehensive immigration reform and his constant bashing of President Donald Trump.

Still, that's not likely to endear him to Democrats as Flake has voted with the president over 93 percent of the time.

If Stanton jumps into the congressional race, he would have to resign his seat because he has more than one year left in his term, according to the city clerk's office.

This will trigger a special election for mayor that could happen as soon as March next year.

That could also set off a mad scramble among the council as some have mayoral aspirations.

Should any current council members run for the city's top job they would have to resign their district seat.

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