ENG: Jeffry Lane "Jeff" Flake (born December 31, 1962) is an American politician and the junior United States Senator from Arizona. He served as a U.S. Representative for Arizona from 2001–2013, representing Arizona's 6th congressional district (initially Arizona's 1st congressional district). He is a member of the Republican Party. Flake was featured in the documentary series How Democracy Works Now: Twelve Stories.
Flake was the 2012 Republican nominee to represent Arizona in the U.S. Senate. He defeated Democrat Richard Carmona on November 6, 2012 to become the Senator from Arizona.Jeffry Lane "Jeff" Flake (born December 31, 1962) is an American politician and the junior United States Senator from Arizona. He served as a U.S. Representative for Arizona from 2001–2013, representing Arizona's 6th congressional district (initially Arizona's 1st congressional district). He is a member of the Republican Party. Flake was featured in the documentary series How Democracy Works Now: Twelve Stories.
Flake was the 2012 Republican nominee to represent Arizona in the U.S. Senate. He defeated Democrat Richard Carmona on November 6, 2012 to become the Senator from Arizona.
Early life, education, and early career
Flake was born in Snowflake, Arizona, the son of Nerita (née Hock) and Dean Maeser Flake. His birth town was named in part for his great-great-grandfather, Mormon pioneer William J. Flake. Flake was educated at Brigham Young University and was a Mormon missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to South Africa in the early 1980s.
He worked in the public affairs sector after college and served as Executive Director of the Foundation for Democracy in Namibia and Executive Director of the Goldwater Institute before entering the House of Representatives. He opposed economic sanctions on South Africa in the 1980s.
U.S. House of Representatives - Elections
Flake was first elected to what was then Arizona's 1st congressional district in 2000, after Republican incumbent Matt Salmon stepped down in honor of a self-imposed term limit. The district was then renumbered to the 6th district as Arizona gained two Congressional seats due to the results of the 2000 census.
In his campaign in 2000, Flake had pledged to serve no more than three terms in Congress, leaving no later than January 2007, but in early 2005, shortly after being elected for a third time, Flake announced that he had changed his mind and would in fact run for re-election in 2006. "It was a mistake to limit my own terms," Flake said.
Flake's departures from the Republican party-line on certain issues earned him a closely watched primary challenge in 2004.
He easily defeated the challenger. In that same election, three out of five mayors in his home district opposed his re-election as he did not "bring pork barrel spending" to the mayors' cities. In 2006, several Democrats had announced their intention to run for the seat; however, only one met the June filing deadline and that particular filing was rejected due to an insufficient amount of nominating signatures. "I did expect to have a primary opponent. I deserve one," Flake said, referring to the term-limit pledge which he had broken. "By all rights, I ought to have an opponent. I just got lucky, I guess."
In the 2006 mid-term elections, Flake had no Democratic Party opponent and easily defeated the Libertarian Party candidate, Jason Blair, with 74% of the vote.
Flake is often among a handful of Republicans casting 'no' votes on bills most of his party supports.
2012 U.S. Senate election
In February 2011, Flake announced that he was running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl in 2012. Flake easily won the Republican nomination against real estate businessman Wil Cardon.
He faced former surgeon general Richard Carmona, who sought office for the first time in the general election. In May 2012, Flake led Carmona by 13 points in the polls. In an October 2012 poll by Public Policy Polling, Flake was trailing Carmona by two points. After the race tightened, the Wall Street Journal criticized a controversial Flake ad that accused Carmona of having "issues with anger, with ethics, and with women."
Flake was endorsed by the Casa Grande Dispatch the United States Chamber of Commerce, and the Club for Growth.
Flake defeated Democratic opponent Richard Carmona on November 6, 2012, and replaced retiring Republican Senator Jon Kyl on January 3, 2013.
Appearance in film
Flake was featured in the documentary film series How Democracy Works Now: Twelve Stories by filmmakers Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini. Films he appears in through the series include:
- Story 5: The Kids Across the Hill, which shows the complications from the entrance of a Democrat to the Kolbe-Flake immigration bill.
- Story 8: The Road to Miami, features the challenges of the Flake-Kolbe-McCain immigration bill.
- Story 9: Protecting Arizona.
- Story 10: Brothers and Rivals, features Flake's 2004 primary challenge and continued efforts towards immigration reform.
- Story 11: The Senate Speaks, shows the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act introduced by Ted Kennedy, McCain, Kolbe, Flake and Guttierez in the spring of 2005.
Flake and his wife Cheryl have five children. They are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He spent time in Zimbabwe and South Africa as a Mormon missionary. The Flakes have been married since ca. 1985.
His uncle, Jake Flake, was an Arizona state senator.
January 15, 2013