Paul Ryan endorses Jeff Flake for Senate

Steven Nelson Associate Editor
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Arizona Republican Rep. Jeff Flake picked up a prominent endorsement Thursday in his race for Senate from House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.

Ryan said the Flake “has been a consistent voice of fiscal restraint since he arrived in the House” and that, “Our country would benefit greatly by having Jeff’s fiscal leadership in the Senate.”

Flake issued a statement thanking Ryan for the endorsement, lauding the Wisconsin congressman as a prophet of fiscal discipline “long before these issues became in vogue.”

The race to succeed retiring Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl appears highly competitive, with Flake polling neck-and-neck against former Republican Reps. J.D. Hayworth and John Shadegg.

A key variable at play is the potential candidacy of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. A poll released this week indicates that Arpaio would be the frontrunner in a Republican primary.

On the Democratic side, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is expected to easily win her party’s endorsement for the Senate seat if she chooses to run.