Retiring Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) quickly refuted a Monday report that he would consider running for his Senate seat as an independent.
A U.S. News and World Report article out Monday claimed that Flake was open to being recruited to run for his U.S. Senate seat as an independent. According to the report, which cited “a source familiar with his thinking,” a group called The Centrist Project approached Flake about the possibility and that he was open to it. This comes less than a week after Flake made a theatrical announcement from the Senate floor that he would not seek re-election in 2018.
Flake’s response to the U.S. News and World Report article:
Not gonna happen. I subscribe to the old saw Running as an Independent is the future…and will always be the future https://t.co/Jcg9SOYnAZ
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) October 30, 2017
The report stated that the Centrist Project plans to poll Flake’s chances if he ran as an independent in a general election. Flake has admitted that he does not believe he could win re-election in 2018. Polling in the state has shown his primary challenger Dr. Kelli Ward solidly in the lead against him.
If Flake were to enter the race he could dilute the Republican voters in the state, giving likely Democrat nominee in the race Krysten Sinema an advantage. The report goes on to suggest that yet another Republican could enter the Republican primary race. Ward appears to be the likely Republican nominee for the seat in 2018. President Donald Trump tweeted prior to Flake dropping out of the race, that he was glad to see Ward in the race against Flake.
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