Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 2012, term expires 2018, 1st term.

Born: December 31, 1962, Snowflake

Home: Mesa

Education: Brigham Young U., B.A., 1986, M.A., 1987

Professional Career: Executive director, Goldwater Institute, 1992-99; owner, public-affairs firm, 1990-92; executive director, Foundation for Democracy (Namibia), 1989-90

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Mormon

Family: Married (Cheryl Flake) , 5 children

Republican Jeff Flake was elected Arizona’s junior senator in 2012 to replace retiring GOP Sen. Jon Kyl. Flake served six terms in the House and faithfully follows the libertarian-leaning conservative principles of former Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, even if it sometimes means alienating his GOP colleagues.

A fifth-generation Arizonan, Flake is a Mormon who was born and raised on a ranch in Snowflake, a town named after his great-great-grandfather. The fifth of 11 children, he graduated with a degree in international studies from Brigham Young University and did missionary work in South Africa and Zimbabwe. In 1989, he moved to Namibia to become executive director of the Foundation for Democracy, which monitored democratic progress in that country. After Namibia gained independence in 1990, Flake returned to Arizona and became executive director of the Goldwater Institute, where he led the fight for Arizona’s charter school law.

In 2000, when conservative Republican Matt Salmon kept his pledge to serve only three terms in the U.S. House, he picked Flake to succeed him. Flake faced four opponents in a hard-fought September primary, in which he ran as the most conservative candidate and won. In the general election, Flake easily defeated Democrat David Mendoza, a longtime lobbyist for public employees.

Flake promised to “continue to rock the boat” as Salmon had as a principled conservative who bucked the Republican leadership. He became the House’s leading opponent of earmarking and regularly tried to amend legislation to ban such special-interest funding provisions from being added to spending bills. After Republicans regained control of the House in 2010, he won a spot on the Appropriations Committee, whose members strongly favored earmarks. During President George W. Bush’s administration, Flake voted against the new Republican president’s 2001 No Child Left Behind education overhaul and the 2003 law extending benefits under Medicare for prescription drugs. In 2010, he was one of only three Republicans to oppose a bill overhauling how the Defense Department buys goods and services through expanding the Pentagon’s acquisition authority.

At the same time, Flake’s beliefs on occasion led him to support Democratic measures that many Republicans abhored. He supported a 2007 bill to prohibit workplace discrimination against gays, although he said in 2010 that he wouldn’t support a revised version because of its expansion to include transgender rights. He joined Democrats in calling for an end to the 1962 trade embargo with Cuba, a blockade that many staunchly anti-Communist Republicans support.

When Kyl decided against seeking a fourth term, Flake joined the race. He faced a primary challenge from businessman Wil Cardon, and the two men waged an acrimonious campaign. Cardon inveighed against “career politicians” and ran an ad using Flake’s own words breaking his pledge not to serve more than three House terms. “What can I say? I lied,” Flake joked in an interview with Reason TV. Flake won easily, although Cardon outspent him by 2-to-1. But the late-August primary meant that he had less time to focus on the fall campaign against Democrat Richard Carmona, a former U.S. surgeon general.

Carmona stressed doing more to assist veterans and took the middle ground on many issues, such as immigration and health care. Flake, meanwhile, emphasized his fiscal conservatism. His campaign ran one of the most explosive ads of the 2012 election cycle in which Cristina Beato, Carmona’s former boss at the Health and Human Services Department, alleged that he twice angrily banged on her door and yelled at her in the middle of the night after workplace disputes. Carmona’s campaign denied the charges and released its own spot featuring Cecilia Rosales, a University of Arizona professor, who called her former colleague “respectful and supportive of his coworkers.”

Carmona closed the gap in polls but could not overcome Arizona’s traditionally Republican lean. Flake won the endorsement of The Arizona Republic, which wrote, “With the exception of Rep. Paul Ryan, perhaps no candidate for federal office in this election cycle is more committed to forcing sanity back into the nation’s finances.” Flake won 49%-46%, with Libertarian Marc Victor drawing the remaining 5%. Although Carmona took Tucson’s Pima County 55%-42% and Flagstaff’s Coconino County 57%-38%, Flake managed to hold onto Phoenix’s Maricopa County 50%-45% and piled up larger margins in the state’s rural areas.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 224-4521

(202) 228-0515

RSOB- Russell Senate Office Building Room 413
Washington, DC 20510-0305

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 224-4521

(202) 228-0515

RSOB- Russell Senate Office Building Room 413
Washington, DC 20510-0305

DISTRICT OFFICE

(602) 840-1891

(602) 840-4848

2200 East Camelback Road Suite 120
Phoenix, AZ 85016

DISTRICT OFFICE

(602) 840-1891

(602) 840-4848

2200 East Camelback Road Suite 120
Phoenix, AZ 85016

DISTRICT OFFICE

(520) 575-8633

(520) 797-3232

6840 Oracle Road Suite 150
Tucson, AZ 85704

DISTRICT OFFICE

(520) 575-8633

(520) 797-3232

6840 Oracle Road Suite 150
Tucson, AZ 85704

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Gary Barnett
Chief Counsel

Adam Kazda
Legislative Correspondent

Appropriations

Chandler Morse
Chief of Staff

Colleen Donnelly
Senior Legislative Assistant

Kris Kiefer
Legislative Assistant

Sarah Towles
Legislative Assistant

Adam Jacobs
Legislative Correspondent

Banking

Nick Morrison
Legislative Assistant

Budget

Sarah Towles
Legislative Assistant

Campaign

Gary Barnett
Chief Counsel

Commerce

Kris Kiefer
Legislative Assistant

Meghan Bush
Legislative Correspondent

Adam Jacobs
Legislative Correspondent

Crime

Gary Barnett
Chief Counsel

Education

Sarah Towles
Legislative Assistant

Energy

Kris Kiefer
Legislative Assistant

Meghan Bush
Legislative Correspondent

Adam Jacobs
Legislative Correspondent

Environment

Kris Kiefer
Legislative Assistant

Meghan Bush
Legislative Correspondent

Adam Jacobs
Legislative Correspondent

Finance

Brian Kennedy
Military Legislative Assistant

Foreign

Chandler Morse
Chief of Staff

Colleen Donnelly
Senior Legislative Assistant

Brian Kennedy
Military Legislative Assistant

Gambling

Gary Barnett
Chief Counsel

Govt Ops

Sarah Towles
Legislative Assistant

Gun Issues

Gary Barnett
Chief Counsel

Adam Kazda
Legislative Correspondent

Health

Sarah Towles
Legislative Assistant

Homeland Security

Chandler Morse
Chief of Staff

Colleen Donnelly
Senior Legislative Assistant

Brian Kennedy
Military Legislative Assistant

Adam Kazda
Legislative Correspondent

Housing

Nick Morrison
Legislative Assistant

Human Rights

Gary Barnett
Chief Counsel

Immigration

Chandler Morse
Chief of Staff

Adam Kazda
Legislative Correspondent

Intelligence

Colleen Donnelly
Senior Legislative Assistant

Brian Kennedy
Military Legislative Assistant

Judiciary

Gary Barnett
Chief Counsel

Adam Kazda
Legislative Correspondent

Labor

Sarah Towles
Legislative Assistant

Land Use

Kris Kiefer
Legislative Assistant

Adam Jacobs
Legislative Correspondent

Military

Brian Kennedy
Military Legislative Assistant

Sandy Ledy
Military Specialist

National Security

Brian Kennedy
Military Legislative Assistant

Native Americans

Kris Kiefer
Legislative Assistant

Meghan Bush
Legislative Correspondent

Adam Jacobs
Legislative Correspondent

Privacy

Gary Barnett
Chief Counsel

Rules

Chandler Morse
Chief of Staff

Science

Chuck Podolak
Science and Engineering Fellow

Seniors

Sarah Towles
Legislative Assistant

Social Security

Brian Kennedy
Military Legislative Assistant

Tax

Nick Morrison
Legislative Assistant

Technology

Sarah Towles
Legislative Assistant

Trade

Chandler Morse
Chief of Staff

Transportation

Sarah Towles
Legislative Assistant

Veterans

Brian Kennedy
Military Legislative Assistant

Women

Gary Barnett
Chief Counsel

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Jeff Flake
Votes: 1,104,457
Percent: 49.24%
Richard Carmona
Votes: 1,036,542
Percent: 46.21%
2012 PRIMARY
Jeff Flake
Votes: 357,360
Percent: 69.25%
Will Cardon
Votes: 110,150
Percent: 21.35%
Clair Steenwyk
Votes: 29,159
Percent: 5.65%
Prior Winning Percentages
House: 2010 (66%), 2008 (62%), 2006 (75%), 2004 (79%), 2002 (66%), 2000 (54%)

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