Senators react to Jeff Flake’s bombshell announcement that he won’t seek reelection in 2018

Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona.

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Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona.
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Ralph Freso/Getty Images

Since Sen. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican and frequent critic of President Donald Trump, announced on Tuesday that he will not seek reelection in 2018, he has received overflowing support from lawmakers in both parties.

Flake made his announcement after he tore into the Republican Party during an emotional speech on the Senate floor. The senator, who refused to endorse President Donald Trump in 2016, criticized the president and warned his colleagues of becoming complacent.

Here’s what other lawmakers said following Flake’s announcement:


Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina

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REUTERS/Jim Bourg

“I’m very saddened and disappointed to hear that @JeffFlake is retiring from the Senate,” Graham said on Twitter. “Jeff is one of the smartest, most independent-minded senators in the Republican conference.”

“His retirement will be a great loss to the body,” Graham continued. “@JeffFlake is a good man who will continue to make contributions to our nation and the conservative cause for years to come.”


Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona

McCain praised Flake’s service and said it will be reviewed as one of “honor, brilliance, and patriotism, and love of country.”

“I know you have served Arizona and the country,” McCain said. “And there’s one thing that I’m absolutely sure of, and that you will continue that service.”


Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

“He is one of the finest human beings I’ve met in politics,” Schumer said in a statement. “He is moral, upright, and strong and he will be missed by just about everybody in the Senate.”


Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey

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Reuters

“I want to thank Jeff Flake for representing Arizona in the House and Senate for nearly two decades,” Ducey said in a statement. “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,” Ducey’s statement continued.