By Jon Johnson
WASHINGTON DC – Eastern Arizona College alum Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. announced Tuesday that he will not seek re-election in 2018.
The Arizona Republic first reported on Flake’s decision. A spokesperson for Flake then corroborated that decision.
Flake had butted heads with Donald Trump on some occasions despite actually going along with Trump’s agenda more often than not. However, by sometimes being a critic of the president, he was seen as not being allegiant. That caused President Trump, Steven Bannon, and others to back former state senator from Lake Havasu City, Dr. Kelli Ward, to unseat him.
Flake told the Republic, “Here’s the bottom line: 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. 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.”
Flake announced his decision on the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon and was praised by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky.
Video of Flake’s speech:
The seat now appears to be wide open with Ward leading the charge from the Republican side and Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz. from the Democratic side.