Arizona's Sen. Jeff Flake announced on the Senate floor Tuesday that he will not seek re-election for 2018, stating he would better serve the country and his conscience by freeing himself of current politics.
Several Arizona politicians have released statements thanking Flake, praising his character and wishing him well, while others - or rather one in particular - were not so kind.
In a tweet, McCain thanked his "dear friend" for his service.
McCain also took the Senate floor after Flake, where he said it has been an honor to serve with a man of "honor, integrity and decency."
Republican Congressman Trent Franks wished Flake well despite their differences.
In spite of our sometimes stark political differences, I consider Senator Jeff Flake a truly decent human being and a man who loves God, his country and his fellow human beings. I wish him and his family the very best God can give them during his remaining time in the Senate and going forward in life.
Democratic Congresswoman Krysten Sinema, who had already announced a run for Flake's seat, released a statement:
It’s been an honor to know and serve with Jeff. He is a man of integrity and a statesman who is true to his convictions – an Arizonan through and through. I wish he and Cheryl and their family the very best.
Former Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords offered Flake encouragement for his future.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey also released a statement:
I want to thank Jeff Flake for representing Arizona in the House and Senate for nearly two decades. Jeff was a voice for fiscal responsibility at the federal level before it was popular, and effectively ended the practice of earmarks. I’ve appreciated his friendship, professionalism and intellect on policy issues impacting Arizona. I wish all the best for Jeff, Cheryl and their whole family.
As did the Arizona GOP:
Sen. Jeff Flake’s love of Arizona is obvious whether you’ve known him for decades or for five minutes," AZGOP Chairman Jonathan Lines said. "He is a tried and true Arizonan who has served our state honorably for more than 18 years. He has worked his hardest to make this state a better place for all Arizonans. The Arizona Republican Party thanks him for his service and looks forward to working with him through the end of his term.
While Kelli Ward, who previously announced she was running for Flake's Senate seat, released a statement saying Arizona voters are "big winners."
Arizona voters are the big winner in @JeffFlake's decision to not seek reelection. They deserve a strong, conservative in the Senate 1/2— Dr. Kelli Ward (@kelliwardaz) October 24, 2017