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Flake Wins Arizona Senate Seat Flake Wins Arizona Senate Seat

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Politics

Flake Wins Arizona Senate Seat

November 6, 2012

Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., will be filling retiring Sen. Jon Kyl's seat in the Senate next year after fighting a tough campaign against former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona, a Democrat.

The race was considered a toss-up even though Arizona is a solidly Republican state, in part because almost three-fourths of the Hispanic voters in the state were expected to go to Carmona. Exit polls showed 78 percent of Latino women and 70 percent of Latino men voted for Carmona, who is Hispanic.

Flake is a popular figure in Arizona, famous for warring with Republican House leaders over "earmarks," which were banned two years ago. But Carmona was a tough candidate to beat as a veteran, former SWAT commander, and trauma surgeon. He accused Flake of staying too long in Congress when he initially supported term limits. Flake has served six terms in the House.

The campaign got personal when Flake ran a campaign ad featuring a former woman official from the Department of Health and Human Services who talked about Carmona's anger issues when he confronted her at night in her home. Carmona denied the allegations but he didn't help his reputation as a loose cannon when he told a male debate moderator that he was "prettier" than CNN's Candy Crowley during a debate with Flake.

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