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Arizona-born senator on Donald Trump shortlist for Supreme Court nominees

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah pauses while speaking at the Conservative Political Action Committee annual conference in National Harbor, Md., Thursday, March 6, 2014. Thursday marks the first day of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, which brings together prospective presidential candidates, conservative opinion leaders and tea party activists from coast to coast.(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

PHOENIX — A U.S. senator born in Arizona is on Donald Trump’s shortlist for possible Supreme Court nominees, it was reported Friday.

The Associated Press reported Utah Sen. Mike Lee appears on the Republican presidential nominee’s shortlist. Lee was born in Mesa.

Lee moved to Utah when he was 1 and has been involved in politics since a young age, thanks to his father’s own political career. Lee’s father, Rex, serve various roles during both Gerald Ford’s and Ronald Reagan’s administrations.

Should Trump win the presidency and Lee accepts the possible nomination, he would be the first Supreme Court justice to have been born in Arizona.

The state’s most-famous justice, former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, was born in El Paso, Texas.

Lee has yet to publicly endorse Trump’s campaign. However, the nominee said Friday that his list was set.

“This list is definitive and I will choose only from it in picking future justices of the United States Supreme Court,” he stated.

Lee’s inclusion is seen by some as part of an effort to woo Ted Cruz, who endorsed Trump hours after the shortlist was released. Lee is a Utah Republican who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Lee responded with a statement: “The Supreme Court is very important and I appreciate being considered. Right now I’m focused on my job in the Senate, where I’m in a good position to defend the Constitution by fighting against government overreach,” he said.

Lee is the second member of his family to appear on Trump’s wish list. His brother, Thomas, who has served as a justice on Utah’s Supreme Court since 2010, was on the original list.

“While my brother and I might disagree as to which list is better, they’re both great,” the senator joked.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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