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Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake says he won't seek re-election, says 'heaven help us' in Senate floor speech
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Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake announced Tuesday he will not seek re-election, according to The Arizona Republic. - photo by Herb Scribner

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake announced Tuesday he will not seek re-election.

Flake said the "nastiness" of Republican politics as the main reason why he will not seek another term in 2018. He will serve out the remainder of his term, according to The Arizona Republic.

Flake’s decision may hurt the Republican Party, which hopes to keep its 52-seat Senate majority after the midterm elections, according to the newspaper.

Flake announced his decision on the senate floor Wednesday. You can read his full speech at The Arizona Republic’s website.

Flake said in his speech to the Senate that there’s a "flagrant disregard of truth and decency" in politics today.

Flake also said “none of this is normal.”

“Heaven help us,” he said.

"I have children and grandchildren to answer to, and so, Mr. President, I will not be complicit and silent," Flake said on the Senate floor, saying he plans to speak out and stand up against negative politics, which is something he's touched on before, according to The Atlantic.

He added, “I have decided that I will be better able to represent the people of Arizona and to better serve my country and my conscience by freeing myself from the political considerations that consume far too much bandwidth and would cause me to compromise far too many principles.”

Flake once again said that the country should combat Trump’s politics and not remain so divided.

“We will return to ourselves once more, and I say the sooner the better. Because to have a heathy government we must have healthy and functioning parties,” he said. “We must respect each other again in an atmosphere of shared facts and shared values, comity and good faith. We must argue our positions fervently, and never be afraid to compromise. We must assume the best of our fellow man, and always look for the good. Until that days comes, we must be unafraid to stand up and speak out as if our country depends on it. Because it does.”

Before he announced his decision, he told The Arizona Republic, "there may not be a place for a Republican like me in the current Republican climate or the current Republican Party."

Flake has had a tumultuous relationship with President Donald Trump, who called the Arizona senator "toxic."

Politico reported earlier this year that White House officials met with Flake’s potential opponents, potentially to endorse them in the midterm race.

And Vox reported that Trump was thinking of spending $10 million of his own money to support Kelli Ward, an opponent of Flake, in 2018.

Flake spoke out against Trump and his politics in his new book “The Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle," in which he wrote that he hoped that Americans and Republicans would feel comfortable to stand up to Trump’s politics.

Flake did, however, agree with Trump on 91 percent of political votes.

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