Rep. Rick Renzi, R-Ariz., denied Friday that he plans to resign from office amid a federal investigation that saw the FBI raid the congressman’s family business last week.
“For several weeks, I have been the subject of leaked stories, conjecture, and false attacks about a land exchange,” Renzi said in a brief statement released by his Washington office. “None of them bear any resemblance to the truth, including the rumor that I am planning on resigning.”
Law enforcement officials confirmed in October that they were scrutinizing a land deal that benefited a Renzi friend and business associate who also was a campaign donor.
Last week, the FBI raided a Sonoita insurance business owned by Renzi’s wife, Roberta.
Renzi temporarily stepped down from the House Intelligence Committee the day of the raid.
Tuesday, he took a leave of absence from the House Financial Services and Natural Resources committees.
He also withdrew from a House Republican fundraising campaign, which raises money for incumbents in vulnerable seats.
Renzi has denied all wrongdoing and had said previously he will serve out his term, but speculation persisted late into the week that he would step down.
Amid that, Republicans and Democrats marshaled potential candidates to run for Renzi’s 1st Congressional District seat in case Renzi bowed out.
Among those mentioned as possible candidates are several current state legislators, including Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, a Flagstaff Democrat who on Wednesday filed papers to establish an exploratory committee, and former state Senate President Ken Bennett, a Prescott Republican.
The 1st District includes the communities of Flagstaff, Prescott, Window Rock, Sedona and Casa Grande as well as large swaths of rural northern and eastern Arizona.
Democrats lead the district in voter registration but many of those are conservatives who cross party lines to vote for Republican candidates.