Arizona: Jeff Flake Endorses Kirk Adams

Rep. Jeff Flake (above) has endorsed former Arizona state Speaker Kirk Adams in the race for his seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Jeff Flake (R) has endorsed former Arizona state Speaker Kirk Adams over former Rep. Matt Salmon in the GOP primary to succeed Flake in Congress.

“With the primary election just days away, I'm being asked a lot about who I prefer for Congressional District Five,” Flake said in a statement. "I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Matt Salmon, so my decision is not a matter of voting against someone, but rather for someone. That someone is Kirk Adams.

"I've known Kirk for years, and have watched his steady, thoughtful leadership as speaker of the Arizona House. I'm confident that, if elected, Kirk will provide the same conservative leadership in Washington," he added.

Flake is the most recent high profile endorser of Adams; others include former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and an old Salmon nemesis, former Speaker Newt Gingrich. Still, sources on the ground expect Salmon to win the primary on Tuesday. Strategically, this new endorsement comes extremely late for Adams. Early voting has been going on for weeks and Arizona typically has a high turnout among early voters.

The winner of the GOP primary will almost certainly be coming to Congress. Roll Call rates this race Safe Republican.

As for Flake's Senate race, his once-nasty primary against real estate investor Wil Cardon is now essentially over. Cardon has reduced his million-dollar television ad blitz and the Flake campaign is readying itself for the fall race against the presumptive Democratic nominee, former Surgeon General Richard Carmona.