Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) announced Tuesday that he will not run for re-election in 2018. "It would require me to believe in positions I don't hold on such issues as trade and immigration and it would require me to condone behavior that I cannot condone," Flake told The Arizona Republic in an interview. He added: "There may not be a place for a Republican like me in the current Republican climate or the current Republican Party."
Flake has been an outspoken critic of President Trump, an enemy of Stephen Bannon's, and a frequent target of the commander in chief's tweets: "He's toxic!" Trump proclaimed in August. In Flake's absence, former state senator Kelli Ward has emerged as the top contender for the Arizona seat. She lost a primary challenge to Sen. John McCain (R) in the state last year.