Most Republicans in the state believed that Franks would challenge Flake. Franks even declined to participate in a border security event featuring Flake and other GOP members of the state's congressional delegation last week, a move that seemed to signal that he was preparing to challenge Flake.
One Arizona Republican strategist said that fundraising was an issue for Franks, and was a factor in his decision not to run. While Franks had the ability to self-fund, he was getting a lukewarm reception from Arizona Republican donors, according to the source. At the end of last year, Franks only had $15,000 in his campaign account, according to his Federal Election Commission filing, while carrying over $264,000 in debt.
"Trent is a good friend and I'm glad I won't have to face off against him in a campaign," said Flake, in a statement.
Flake has already enjoyed a big fundraising boost from the Club For Growth, who endorsed him right after he made his Senate bid official.