Flake Seat Awaits More Challengers

Posted February 28, 2011 at 6:35pm

Although the look of Arizona’s 6th district is likely to change next year as the East Valley continues to boom in population, Republicans expect to have an edge in the open-seat race for Rep. Jeff Flake’s seat.

The Republican announced two weeks ago that he is running for the seat being vacated by Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R), and a handful of Republicans are in turn expected to run for Flake’s seat. Former state Senate Majority Leader Chuck Gray is already in the race.

Gray told Roll Call in a recent interview that he was already looking into running for the state’s new 9th district, which it will gain in reapportionment, when the 6th district opened up.

“I’m expecting others will jump into the race,” Gray said. “I’m also expecting that they will think twice about running against me.”

Both state Senate President Russell Pearce (R) and state Speaker Kirk Adams (R) are believed to be looking into it.

“I’m seriously considering a run there. I’ve been surprised by the amount of support I’ve received,” Adams told Roll Call recently. “My phone almost exploded at Kyl’s announcement. I’m being encouraged by many people to get in this race. But this is not something you do lightly.”