Flake will not seek 2018 re-election for Senate seat

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, announced Tuesday he would not seek re-election. (File photo by Nathan J. Fish/Cronkite News)

PHOENIX – Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake announced Tuesday he would not seek re-election in 2018.

The Arizona Republic reported the state’s junior senator will serve out the remainder of his term but cites the “nastiness of Republican politics” as a reason he will not run next year.

The Republican, a vocal critic of President Donald Trump, was likely to be challenged by former state senator Kelli Ward in the primary, and possibly face current Arizona Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema in the general election.

Senior Arizona Sen. John McCain made a statement on Twitter thanking Flake for his service.

Ward issued a statement saying in part, “Arizona voters are the big winner in Jeff Flake’s decision to not seek re-election. They deserve a strong conservative in the U.S. Senate who supports President Trump and the ‘America First’ agenda.”

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey issued a statement thanking Flake for representing Arizona in the House and Senate for nearly two decades.

Check back for more information as this story develops.

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