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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

Trump threatens to veto Defense spending bill over social media shield

Photo: Erin Schaff - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted Tuesday a threat to veto a must-pass end-of-year $740 billion bill defense-spending authorization bill unless Congress repeals a federal law that protects social media sites from legal liability.

Why it matters: Trump's attempt to get Congress to end the tech industry protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is the latest escalation in his war on tech giants over what he and some other Republicans perceive as bias against conservatives.

The walls close in on Trump

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

With Bill Barr's "Et tu, Brute!" interview with AP, President Trump is watching the walls close in on his claims of fraud, hoaxes and conspiracies.

Why it matters: Trump and his legal team continue to claim election fraud. But the Republican governors of Arizona and Georgia have certified their elections, a loyalist like Barr has weighed in, and lower-ranking officials have taken potshots.

Congress plots COVID pandemic-era office upgrades

oving crates outside Rep. Elise Stefanik's old office Tuesday. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The House plans to renovate members' suites even though staff are worried about an influx of contractors and D.C. is tightening restrictions on large gatherings, some staffers told Axios.

Why it matters: The Capitol has been closed to public tours since March. Work over the holiday season comes as U.S. coronavirus cases spike, Americans beg for more pandemic assistance and food lines grow.