Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) will officially announce Monday morning that he is running for the seat being vacated by Sen. Jon Kyl (R), according to a Republican source familiar with the decision. The news was first reported by the Arizona Republic Sunday afternoon. Flake will be the first candidate to officially declare his intention to run for the seat, and will instantly be regarded as a front-runner in the race.
In the days following Kyl's announcement, a Flake run began to look like a likely proposition, so the news does not come as a surprise. Shortly after Kyl's retirement announcement last week, the Club for Growth urged Flake to run, and Republicans in the state confirmed his interest in the race.
Flake has built a reputation as a fiscal conservative and has staked out a position of strong opposition to earmarks, so spending will likely become a central focus of his campaign.
The list of other Republicans also reportedly eying the race includes Rep. Trent Franks (R), former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R) and several other potential candidates. Former Rep. John Shadegg (R) and Gov. Jan Brewer (R) have announced that they will not seek the seat.
According to his most recent fundraising report, Flake had $627K cash on hand at the end of 2010.
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