Jeff Flake announces he’ll run for Jon Kyl’s Senate seat

Dan Nowicki
The Arizona Republic

U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake wasted no time Monday in becoming the first official candidate for the U.S. Senate seat that will open in 2012, moving fast to get a jump-start on campaign fundraising and to discourage potential Republican rivals from entering the GOP race.

Flake, 49, the libertarian-leaning senior Republican member of Arizona’s U.S. House delegation, launched his campaign four days after three-term U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., said he would not seek re-election next year.

The speed of Flake’s entry into the 2012 competition could crowd out some of the other Republicans whose names have been floated, although Flake said he looks forward to “a spirited campaign.”

Among the Republicans contemplating a run for Kyl’s seat are U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, a five-term, socially conservative House member, and former U.S. Rep. J.D. Hayworth, who last year made a doomed primary challenge against Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. Former U.S. Rep. John Shadegg, once widely expected to be an early GOP frontrunner, on Friday said he won’t run…

The article continues at The Arizona Republic.

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