Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., will announce Monday that he will run for the U.S. Senate being vacated by Sen. Jon Kyl, a source has told The Arizona Republic.
Flake, who was first elected to Congress in 2000, has long expressed interest in running for the Senate. He will make it official at an 8 a.m. news conference at the same Phoenix hotel where Kyl on Thursday announced that he will retire when his current term ends in January 2013.
The Hotline's Sean Sullivan points out that Flake has $627K in his House campaign account. Flake's 6th CD would become the third open seat this cycle (not counting the resignations in CA-36 and NY-26), and of course, we can't really predict what this district will look like after Arizona's redistricting comission finishes its work. But it's pretty brutally red (McCain 61%, though that was actually worse than Bush), so there probably won't be a lot of open seat excitement in this corner of the state.
UPDATE: It's official. This is what he's focusing on, at least for now:
Flake says his priorities include balancing the federal government's budget, securing the border and working on transportation and water policy issues.
Flake says broader action is needed on illegal immigration than just border security but that border security "needs to be the focus."
On the budget, Flake says everything needs to be on the table, including possible changes to Social Security. But he said changes shouldn't apply to current beneficiaries.