Rep. Jeff Flake launched a campaign Monday for the Arizona Senate seat in 2012 left open by Sen. John Kyl, confirming rumors that he was mulling a run.
“I am a candidate for the U.S. Senate,” Flake announced on Monday morning. “Senator Jon Kyl has given all of the eventual candidates in this race an excellent model of how to best serve Arizona and the country. He’s set the bar extremely high, and I’ll do my best to meet that standard.”
Kyl, the second-highest-ranking Senate Republican, announced his retirement last week, causing immediate speculation that Flake would launch a campaign. The six-term congressman, who is notorious for fighting the use of earmarks in Congress, was last year tapped for the powerful Appropriations Committee and will likely face more challengers who will announce their own candidacies in the coming months.
Some have even speculated that Arizona Democrat Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who is still recovering from an assassination attempt in January, could also run for the seat if her health permits.