Potential frontrunner to replace Jeff Flake just hinted that he might not run: 'I'm not sure I have the burning passion that that type of race would take'

Dave SchweikertChip Somodevilla / Getty ImagesRep. David Schweikert
  • Sen. Jeff Flake announced Tuesday that he won’t seek reelection in 2018.
  • Rep. David Schweikert would be among one of the most prominent candidates to come from the House who could fill Flake’s seat.

WASHINGTON — Arizona Rep. David Schweikert signalled that he might not run for the Senate seat made open by the retirement of Sen. Jeff Flake in 2018, saying he might not have “the burning passion that that type of race would take.”

“I love the illusions of grandeur but I’m not sure I have the burning passion that that type of race would take,” Scweikert told reporters on Wednesday when asked if he was considering a run. “From a personality standpoint, I’ve often had a long-term goal of maybe governor just because that seemed to fit me more personality wise.”

While he did not fully rule out a run for Senate, Schweikert added that the Republicans in Arizona’s congressional delegation are meeting Thursday morning to hash out who might want to run because they would not want to step on each other’s toes in a crowded race.

“We actually have something unique in our delegation,” he said. “Our delegation actually likes each other and we’ve worked really hard to have that happen because that wasn’t always the history with Arizona representatives. So we’re sort of having that ‘Does anyone have just burning passion to want to do this’ [conversation].”

Speculation has mounted about a handful of different Republicans who might run after Flake announced his retirement after citing frustration with the deteriorating state of American political discourse.

Schweikert also suggested that a candidate might not come forward immediately from the five Republicans representing Arizona in the House.

“It’s not a coronation meeting,” he said. “We’re not gonna be burning white or grey smoke up a chimney. It was more just to see is anyone burning with passion [to run for Senate].”

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