Senator Jeff Flake?
2:29 PM, Feb 14, 2011 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
Arizona GOP congressman Jeff Flake announced today that he will try to fill the seat of retiring senator Jon Kyl in 2012. Flake, a tea partier before there were tea partiers, has already won the endorsement of the Club for Growth, and he'll be a strong candidate in the GOP primary. But he's no sure thing. For starters, on the all-important issue of immigration in Arizona, Flake has sponsored legislation that provides a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Dave Weigel writes:
Just a couple weeks ago, Flake told the Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin that he's still a supporter of "comprehensive" immigration reform, so it may be difficult for him to tack right on the issue (that is, if he's interested in tacking right).
Another issue that could hurt Flake in a GOP primary is his support for a carbon tax--something most Democrats ran away from because they viewed it as more unpopular than cap and trade:
As that McClatchy report makes clear, any good libertarian or conservative ought to support a consumption tax over a payroll tax if given the choice. But the economic merits of Flake's carbon tax bill could get lost in a heated primary.
Flake's chances in a GOP primary obviously will depend a lot on who else gets in the race. A big reason why John McCain won in 2010, despite his support for "comprehensive immigration reform" and cap and trade, was his primary opponent's incredible ineptitude. Flake should hope to be so lucky this time around.
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