Flake drops out of Senate race

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.

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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.”

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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.).

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Source: The Hill | October 24, 2017 | Ben Kamisar

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