Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) will not run for reelection, The Arizona Republic reported Tuesday, a stunning decision that stems from his high-profile clash with President Trump.
The announcement caught Washington by surprise, even though Flake’s repeated criticisms of Trump had thrown serious doubt on whether he could survive a primary challenge against former state Sen. Kelli Ward.
“There may not be a place for a Republican like me in the current Republican climate or the current Republican Party,” Flake told the paper.
Flake said running in the Republican primary would require him to “condone behavior that I cannot condone.”
“The path that I would have to travel to get the Republican nomination is a path I’m not willing to take, and that I can’t in good conscience take,” Flake told the paper. “It would require me to believe in positions I don’t hold on such issues as trade and immigration and it would require me to condone behavior that I cannot condone.”
The retirement could open the door back up for Republicans who were hesitant about running against an incumbent but could now see an opening against Ward, who lost a 2016 primary to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.