Republican Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.) on Monday quashed reports that he may consider to run for the Senate as an independent next year.
U.S. News & World Report reported Monday afternoon that the Centrist Project, a group created to recruit independent candidates, has approached Flake about running for reelection as an independent, adding, "He is open to the possibility."
"In the case of Jeff Flake, people from both the center-right and center-left realize that they can basically have whichever most extreme Republican emerges from the primary or, as an independent, a level-headed, principled Jeff Flake," said Joel Searby, a strategist for the Centrist Project. "When they start thinking in those terms, they begin to realize it's time for reconsidering the old ways."
But Flake shot down the idea on Twitter shortly after the story was published.
"Not gonna happen," Flake tweeted along with a link to the article. "I subscribe to the old saw running as an independent is the future … and will always be the future."
Not gonna happen. I subscribe to the old saw Running as an Independent is the future…and will always be the future https://t.co/Jcg9SOYnAZ
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) October 30, 2017
Flake announced last week that he will not seek reelection to his seat in 2018, saying he does not believe he can in good conscience earn the Republican nomination in the current political climate. He then criticized President Donald Trump and the current state of the Republican Party in a speech on the Senate floor.