Rep. Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarConservative lawmakers press Trump to suspend guest worker programs for a year Impeachment figure among those chosen for Facebook’s new oversight board Cruz rebukes San Antonio City Council for denouncing ‘Chinese virus’ as hate speech MORE (R-Ariz.) is ruling out a bid for outgoing Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeGOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism Kelly holds double-digit lead over McSally in Arizona: poll Trump asserts his power over Republicans MORE’s (R-Ariz.) seat, saying instead that he will seek reelection in the House.
“Everybody has to make tough decisions in their lifetime, and Congressman Gosar respects Senator Jeff Flake’s decision to do what he thought was best for his family and for the state of Arizona,” Gosar’s spokeswoman, Faith Vander Voort, said in a statement to The Daily Beast.
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“Although the state needs a strong conservative at the helm, Congressman Gosar will seek reelection for his seat in the House of Representatives in 2018. His heart lies with Arizona’s Fourth Congressional District, and as one of our nation’s most efficient Members of Congress,” the statement said.
Gosar’s decision comes just one day after Flake announced he would not be seeking reelection in 2018 and issued a stinging rebuke of President Trump on the Senate floor.
David Bossie, a prominent conservative and head of Citizens United Political Victory Fund, floated Gosar’s name as a potential Senate primary challenger a day before Flake’s resignation. In a Fox News op-ed, Bossie called Gosar “a dynamite conservative reformer to retire the anti-Trump, pro-amnesty, pro-Washington candidate Senator Jeff Flake.”
Trump’s allies have met with candidates who were looking to challenge Flake and appear to favor former state Sen. Kelli Ward (R), who had already announced a bid for the seat.
Great to see that Dr. Kelli Ward is running against Flake Jeff Flake, who is WEAK on borders, crime and a non-factor in Senate. He’s toxic!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017
Several GOP names have been floated since Flake announced plans to retire after his term, including Reps. Martha McSally, Trent FranksHarold (Trent) Trent FranksArizona New Members 2019 Cook shifts 8 House races toward Dems Freedom Caucus members see openings in leadership MORE and David Schweikert, as well as Arizona state Treasurer Jeff DeWitt and businesswoman Christine Jones.