Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake Endorses Romney

Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake Endorses Romney

By Caitlin Huey-Burns - September 19, 2011

Conservative Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake threw his support behind presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on Monday, citing the former Massachusetts governor’s “vision to get our country on the right path again.”

The six-term congressman is running for the Senate seat being vacated by Republican Jon Kyl, and so far he is considered the favorite to win both the GOP nod and the general election.

Flake, who represents Phoenix’s southeast suburbs, is a fiscal conservative with a history of bucking his party’s leadership. Most recently during the debt ceiling debate, he held out on supporting the Republican position despite eleventh-hour begging by GOP leaders. Flake wound up supporting the bill after it was revised. Just last week he and 50 other House members sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers imploring them to seek deeper spending cuts than those articulated in the debt ceiling legislation earlier this summer. Flake’s endorsement of Romney could boost the former governor’s conservative credentials.

Flake, like Romney, is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He endorsed a fellow Arizonan, Sen. John McCain, in the 2008 presidential cycle.

“This election will be an important moment in our nation’s history,” said Flake in a statement released by the Romney campaign. “The next president will be charged with reversing the failed policies of the last three years and making sure the future is as bright for our children as it was for the generations before them. Mitt Romney has the experience and vision to get our country on the right path again. Whether it was his time as governor or as a successful businessman, Mitt Romney has shown that he has the economic knowledge to create the environment for businesses to start hiring again.”

“I am proud to announce Congressman Flake’s support,” said Romney in a statement. “Having such a strong advocate for the taxpayer on my Arizona team will be crucial as I reach out to voters across the state and spread my pro-growth message.”

In an attempt to become a more influential state in the nominating process, Arizona moved up its primary to February 28. Romney campaigned in the Grand Canyon State last week, meeting with business owners in Tucson and hosting a town-hall meeting in Phoenix.

Caitlin Huey-Burns is a congressional reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @CHueyBurnsRCP.

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