Former Rep. Matt Salmon reportedly considering run for Flake’s seat in 2018

Oct 27, 2017, 3:39 PM | Updated: 3:41 pm
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — Former U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon was reportedly considering entering the race for Sen. Jeff Flake’s seat in 2018.

According to NBC News reporter Vaughn Hillyard, Salmon was “definitely considering” running for Senate next year and was “expected to make his decision next week.”

“Based on the number of people who have called [Salmon], he’s not going to be scared by anybody,” the source added. “It doesn’t matter who else jumps in — if on Monday or Tuesday he wakes up and his heart is in it, he’ll jump in.”

Flake announced on Tuesday that he would not seek re-election in 2018, citing the “Trump factor” as a major factor in his decision-making.

““I’m a traditional conservative that believes in limited government, economic freedom, free trade [and] immigration,” Flake told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News. “The Trump factor is a lot different. [It is] very anti-immigration, very protectionist.”

If he enters the race, Salmon will be the second high-profile Republican to compete for Flake’s seat.

Former state Sen. Kelli Ward is currently the front-runner for the party, while U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema is heading the race for the Democratic Party.

Salmon retired from Congress for the second time in 2016.

He served three terms before leaving in 2000 to work as an education policy consultant to Arizona State University. He returned to Congress in 2012 and was re-elected in 2014.

Since retiring, Salmon has been serving as the vice president for government affairs at the university.

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Former Rep. Matt Salmon reportedly considering run for Flake’s seat in 2018