Jeff Flakes! Will Not Seek Re-Election

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Henry Rodgers Senior Congressional Correspondent
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Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake announced he will not seek re-election in 2018 Tuesday afternoon after continuous attacks from President Donald Trump.

Flake, who did not support Trump throughout his 2016 presidential campaign and has continued to disagree with the president on just about every issue announced Tuesday that he is not willing to take the path necessary to winning a republican nomination.

“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,” Flake told The Arizona Republic in a telephone interview. “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.”

Arizona’s other senator, John McCain, said he had hoped Flake was not actually going to throw in the towel.

“I knew he was thinking about it, but I’m very sorry it’s happening,” McCain said in a speech after Flake made his announcement on the senate floor Tuesday. “He’s one of the most honorable men I’ve ever known.”

Kelli Ward, the former state senator who lost her primary challenge last year against Arizona Sen. John McCain, is now the GOP’s only current alternative to Flake.

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