House Speaker Kirk Adams is stepping down.
A special meeting of the House of Representatives has been set for Thursday morning. That will follow a closed-door session of the 40 House Republicans who will choose their new leader.
Daniel Scarpinato, spokesman for House Republicans, would not say whether Adams, a Mesa Republican, plans to quit the Legislature entirely. He also said Adams will not comment until Thursday.
But Adams has been exploring whether to run for Congress. And he cannot get an early start because Arizona has a ``resign to run'' law which makes it illegal for anyone to seek another office before the last year of his or her term in the current office.
Adams' term as a legislator will not end until the first week in January 2013.
Adams political future could depend on where the lines are drawn for the congressional districts.
Republican U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake, who currently represents that area of the state, is going after the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Jon Kyl. At this point Flake, who is not subject to the state's resign-to-run law, is the only announced candidate.
On top of that, Arizona is getting a ninth congressional district following the 2010 census. Depending on where the lines are drawn, he may wind up in the same district as former Congressman Matt Salmon and former Sen. Chuck Gray, both Republicans, who already have said they want to go to Washington.
And Senate President Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, also is weighing whether to run for the U.S. House or Senate. Pearce, however, has said that, no matter what, he does not plan to resign before the end of his term.
Adams got his start in the Legislature in 2006 when Gray, then a state representative, was appointed to the Senate after the death of Marilyn Jarrett. Adams was appointed to fill out the balance of his term by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.
He became speaker after the 2009 election.
While the new speaker has to be chosen by the full House, the real decision is made by the majority Republicans in closed caucus. Whoever wins that race then is traditionally supported by all Republicans.
Potential replacements include Majority Leader Andy Tobin, R-Paulden, John Kavanagh who chairs the Appropriations Committee, and Eddie Farnsworth who chairs the Judiciary Committee.