GOP Rep. Gosar rules out bid for Flake's seat

GOP Rep. Gosar rules out bid for Flake's seat
© Greg Nash

Rep. Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarArizona GOP tinkers with election rules with an eye on McCain's seat Some doubt McCarthy or Scalise will ever lead House GOP GOP lawmakers demand Sessions investigate Clinton, Comey MORE (R-Ariz.) is ruling out a bid for outgoing Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeJulian Castro predicts Arizona will 'go blue' for Senate, presidential election GOP anxiety grows over Trump’s Iran decision GOP senator: Trump's comment on Kim Jong Un 'surpasses understanding' 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.

Several GOP names have been floated since Flake announced plans to retire after his term, including Reps. Martha McSally, Trent FranksHarold (Trent) Trent FranksThe Hill's 12:30 Report Sarah Sanders on Republican's 5-point win in Arizona: 'She's not Donald Trump' Arizona GOP winner to join Freedom Caucus MORE and David Schweikert, as well as Arizona state Treasurer Jeff DeWitt and businesswoman Christine Jones.