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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."

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.

Updated 4 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.