Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona will not face primary challenge from Rep. Paul Gosar
PHOENIX — U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) said Tuesday he would seek re-election, refuting a report he was considering a potential Senate run that would have put him up against incumbent Jeff Flake.
The Arizona Capitol Times reported Gosar said he had been approached about running next year — former State Sen. Kelli Ward also is running — and that he was thinking about doing so.
However, Gosar posted to Facebook after the report to say he would seek re-election to the House of Representatives instead of challenging Flake for his seat despite the pair’s disagreements.
“I strongly disagree with Sen. Flake on his position regarding border security and amnesty for illegal aliens,” the post read. “However, it is important to note the many issues Sen. Flake and I agree upon and have worked on together including federal land management, water rights and cutting waste, fraud and abuse.
Flake has been the state’s junior senator to John McCain since 2013, replacing Jon Kyl, who retired. Flake topped Democratic rival Richard Carmona in the November 2012 general election.
Gosar is a fourth-term Republican representing western Arizona’s mostly rural 4th Congressional District.
Some in the GOP are unhappy with Flake because of his frequent clashes with President Donald Trump. He was highly critical of Trump during the 2016 campaign, saying Trump was not his first — “nor my 17th” — choice for the nomination.
Flake also expressed a preference for the party to spend campaign funds on Senate races instead of in support of Trump.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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