Oct 24, 2017

Republican Trump critic Jeff Flake is retiring after 2018

Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake (Gage Skidmore / Flickr CC)

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake announced today he will not run for re-election after his current term, per AZ Central.

Why it matters: Flake's vacant seat will make it even harder for Republicans to maintain their majority control of the Senate — this now makes two Republicans, both consistently attacked by Trump, who have declared they're not seeking re-election.

Flake's approval has been consistently declining in the polls over the past year, per AZ Central. He has been a consistent voice of opposition to Trump throughout his presidency, and he has been considered "too nice" for the Senate under Trump's tenure. "There may not be a place for a Republican like me in the current Republican climate or the current Republican Party," Flake told the AZ Republic.

Flake joins Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker who announced his forthcoming retirement on Sept. 26. Trump's former chief strategist Steve Bannon has openly supported Flake's challenger, Kelli Ward, who lost in the primary challenge against John McCain last year. Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema is the leading Democratic candidate in the Arizona race, though Bannon's ally Robert Mercer has invested $300,000 in Ward's super PAC and Trump previously offered a quasi-endorsement for her in August: "Great to see that Dr. Kelli Ward is running against Flake Jeff Flake, who is WEAK on borders, crime and a non-factor in Senate."

More on Flake's potential replacements, per the AZ Republic: "Kelli Ward, the former state senator from Lake Havasu City who lost her primary challenge last year against Sen. John McCain... Arizona State Treasurer Jeff DeWit, former Arizona Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham and Arizona Board of Regents member Jay Heiler."

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Top Trump ally sounds 2020 election alarm over coronavirus response

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

There is growing concern among top conservative leaders that the Trump administration isn't addressing the long-term economic impact of the coronavirus, several sources tell Axios. One top adviser said if the recovery is bungled it could cost President Trump the election.

What we're hearing: "The next 4-8 weeks is really going to decide whether Trump gets reelected," Stephen Moore, Trump's former nominee for the Federal Reserve board, told Axios. If the administration mishandles its economic recovery efforts, he said, Trump is "in big trouble."

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,600,427 — Total deaths: 95,506 — Total recoveries: 354,006Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 465,329 — Total deaths: 16,513 — Total recoveries: 25,410Map.
  3. Public health latest: U.S. has expelled thousands of migrants under a CDC public health orderDr. Anthony Fauci said social distancing could reduce the U.S. death toll to 60,000.
  4. Business latest: The Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion for businesses, state and city governments — After another 6.6 million jobless claims, here's how to understand the scale of American job decimation.
  5. 2020 latest: Top conservative leaders are concerned the Trump administration isn't addressing the virus' long-term economic impact.
  6. States latest: FEMA has asked governors to decide if they want testing sites to be under state or federal control.
  7. World latest: Lockdowns have led to a decline in murders in some of the world's most violent countries — Boris Johnson is moved out of the ICU but remains in hospital with coronavirus.
  8. In Congress: Senate in stalemate over additional funding for small business relief program.
  9. 1 SNL thing: "Saturday Night Live" will return this weekend in a remotely produced episode.
  10. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredPets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  11. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Federal court temporarily blocks coronavirus order against some abortions

Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled Thursday that clinics in Texas can immediately offer medication abortions — a pregnancy termination method administered by pill — and can also provide the procedure to patients nearing the state's time limits for abortions.

Driving the news: The decision comes after federal appeals court ruled 2-1 on Tuesday in favor of an executive order by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott that prohibits abortions during the coronavirus outbreak.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy