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Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer not interested in running for Flake’s seat

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
LISTEN: Jan Brewer, Former Arizona Governor

PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake’s decision to not seek re-election next year was expected to spark an influx of Republican lawmakers in the race, but there is one notable Arizona politician who is taking her name out of the ring: Former Gov. Jan Brewer.

In an interview with KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos, Brewer said she is not interested in running for Flake’s seat, which will be up for grabs in 2018.

“I paid my dues and I am not leaving Arizona, I’m staying right here,” she said, joining the likes of Gov. Doug Ducey, who also said he would not be running for Senate.

Flake announced Tuesday that he would not run for re-election, effectively turning the race on its head.

His decision means former state Sen. Kelli Ward remained the front-runner for the Republican Party, while U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema was heading the race for the Democratic Party.

In an interview with KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News, Flake said he decided not to run due to the so-called “Trump factor.”

“I’m a traditional conservative that believes in limited government, economic freedom, free trade [and] immigration,” Flake said. “The Trump factor is a lot different. [It is] very anti-immigration, very protectionist.”

Brewer told Mac & Gaydos that while she supported Flake when he initially ran for Senate in 2013, she believed he made his decision made on poor polling results.

“As a politician, if you believe in your convictions, you stay in there and you fight the battle,” she said. “[I think] the polling wasn’t looking good over this last year. He did not want the fight.”

While there is still a year left until the November general election, Brewer said she expects more Republican lawmakers to take the plunge into the race soon.

“This will be an interesting election,” she said, adding that there are a “lot of people looking” at getting into the race.

But there is one person Brewer is cheerleading to enter the race: Arizona lawyer Jay Heiler. Heiler said in an interview with The New York Times earlier this month that he is considering a Senate run.

“I thought that [Heiler] would be an excellent candidate,” Brewer said, adding that Heiler is thinking “seriously about pulling the trigger.”

“I think it reads very well for him.”

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