Arizona Senator Jeff Flake Won’t Seek Reelection

Arizona Republican Jeff Flake announced on Tuesday that he will not seek reelection, making him the latest in a growing number of GOP senators who have opted to abandon Congress since the election of President Donald Trump. Like Senator Bob Corker, Rep. Charlie Dent and more, Flake cites the growing extremism of the right under the president as his reason for stepping down.

“Flake denounced the ‘complicity’ of his own party in what he called an ‘alarming and dangerous state of affairs’ under Trump, blaming the President for setting the tone. In his speech, Flake assailed a ‘flagrant disregard for truth or decency’ and attacked a ‘regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms,’” reports CNN. “‘When such behavior emanates from the top of our government, it is something else: It is dangerous to a democracy,’ Flake said.”

While his words were blistering, it’s likely that Flake was well aware that he would not be able to beat a primary challenger in the race for the party endorsement. As Real Clear Politics reports:

Appearing on Morning Joe a day after he announced he will not seek another term in a speech on the Senate floor, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) said he would not be able to win the Republican primary. “The bottom line is that if I were to run a campaign that I could be proud of and where I didn’t have to cozy up to the president and his positions or his behavior, I could not win in a Republican primary,” Flake acknowledged. “That’s the bottom line. It’s not that you just have to meet with the president on policy. You can’t question his behavior and still be a Republican in good standing, apparently, in a Republican primary. So, you know, in poll after poll, you’ll see that majority of Republican primary voters — that’s kind of a subset of a subset — are firmly behind the president’s policies.”

Flake may not agree with President Trump on much, but his inability to win is one place where the two see eye to eye. Politico reports:

“The reason Flake and Corker dropped out of the Senate race is very simple, they had zero chance of being elected. Now act so hurt & wounded!” Trump wrote on Twitter Wednesday morning. He also celebrated a lunch meeting he’d attended with Senate Republicans a day earlier, writing that “outside of Flake and Corker,” the gathering had been “a love fest with standing ovations and great ideas for USA!”

With an unpopular Flake not running, Republicans believe that their chances could actually improve in the state of Arizona. Flake was being challenged in the primary by Tea Party activist Kelli Ward, and the Senate Leadership Fund — a Republican super PAC — announced that the best part of a Flake retirement is the possibility of a stronger contender running against Ward in the primary.

“The one political upshot of Sen. Flake’s decision today is that Steve Bannon’s hand-picked candidate, conspiracy-theorist Kelli Ward, will not be the Republican nominee for this Senate seat in 2018,” the group’s president said in a statement, according to Roll Call.

The individual who eventually runs for the nomination will certainly be the biggest factor in whether or not the seat stays red in 2018.

“So how does Flake’s exit change Arizona’s 2018 Senate election? Big picture: It doesn’t,” explains FiveThirtyEight. “Arizona is likely to remain the Democrats’ best opportunity to pick up a Republican-held seat. But Flake’s retirement could make that pickup more or less likely — we just don’t know which yet. The general election between the likely Democratic nominee, U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, and whomever the Republicans nominate starts as a tossup.”

But the site predicts that if no one nabs the endorsement from Ward, Flake’s retirement could be a game changer in turning the state blue. If that happens, the balance of the Senate could very well tip back into Democratic control.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

38 comments

Marie W
Marie W2 months ago

Thanks for the article

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Deborah W
Deborah W6 months ago

YOU GO, EX-SHERIFF JOE ...

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JT S
Past Member 8 months ago

My reference to the media is in regards to how we've been hearing for decades that voting for a third-party candidate is a wasted vote. Let's face it, the media is owned by the elites [http://www.whiteoutpress.com/timeless/who-owns-the-american-media-here-s-the-list735/], and the elites are the ones who try to give us only two candidates between two parties every election cycle. The media has been burying all the various third-parties, and the media has control of the vetted information. Examples: "Mainstream media ignore third-party Senate challengers" [http://www.coloradoindependent.com/159013/colorado-local-news-media-2], "These 6 Corporations Control 90% Of The Media In America" [http://www.businessinsider.com/these-6-corporations-control-90-of-the-media-in-america-2012-6], "Media Deception: You Are *Not* Getting The Truth" [http://www.newsfocus.org/media_control.htm], and "10 Brilliant Quotes by Noam Chomsky on How Media Really Operates in America" [http://www.alternet.org/media/10-brilliant-quotes-noam-chomsky-how-media-really-operates-america]. The dual party system as a whole has been sold to you. Frankly, you do better to stay well clear of American corporate media for your important information.

https://ace910046sca1.blogspot.com/2016/12/its-neither-spoiler-nor-protest-vote.html

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JT S
Past Member 8 months ago

For a long time now, the Democratic and Republican parties have effectively controlled American politics between them while blocking out any other parties from truly participating. And thanks to the cozy nature of the relationships between those two parties and the media, the American public has been told ad nauseum that a vote for any other party's candidate would be waste of a vote. As a result, people accept this blindly without realizing that the status quo *can* and will change if enough people say: "No more!"

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Karen H
Karen H8 months ago

Well, I may have been wrong in my previous post. Trevor Noah (bless his adorable heart) explained that perhaps Flake & Corker aren't cowards. By retiring and/or saying they won't run for re-election, they're basically saying to Trump, "What are you gonna do? Fire me? Can't do that because I've already quit. So you can make all the threats you want and it won't make any difference. Nyah!" It's like giving your 2 weeks notice at a job & not having to worry about what the boss thinks during those last 10 days. We just have to convince voters to vote for someone who has their best interest at heart.

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Richard A
Richard A8 months ago

Jeff Flake talks a good talk, but when it is time to vote he is yet another back-stabber.

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Winn A
Winn A8 months ago

Any republican or independent that still backs tRUMP should be voted out of office at the next election.

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HEIKKI R
HEIKKI R8 months ago

THANK YOU

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Anne M
Anne M8 months ago

Bwahahahahahahahahahahaha,, a love fest.... - I bet there aren’t many Reps in the House that like chump; they just put up with him,, because they have their jobs to think about...

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chris B
chris B8 months ago

Good speech, but no action, I agree. He voted on the Bank Bill so citizens can't sue big banks in class actions. Voted 93% w/Trump. I think, NOT for the people. If he meant what he said, he would stay and make it up to the people. Coward, just like the rest of them there, kissing Trumps very large ASS!!!

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