Arizona congressman Jeff Flake is still alive and well despite predictions that he would emerge from his expensive primary battle for the U.S. Senate as a much weaker candidate, according to Republican Party leaders.
Flake won the GOP nomination last week after defeating his opponent Will Cardon by capturing 69 percent of the vote in what was expected to be a much closer race, according to the Arizona Daily Star
The five-term congressman will now face off against Democrat Richard Carmona in the general election for the seat of retiring Republican Sen. Jon Kyl.
The primary did take a financial toll on Flake, however, forcing him to spend more than $4 million in the primary to counter attacks from Cardon, who spent nearly $8.8 million of his own money.
Democrats had hoped Flake would be wounded by the Cardon attacks, making him an easier target for Carmona. But the National Republican Senatorial Committee cited Flake’s landslide victory as evidence of his strength.
According to recent campaign finance reports, Carmona has a slight lead over Flake in fundraising heading into the general election. If elected, he would be the first Arizona Democrat to serve in the U.S. Senate since Dennis DeConcini, who represented the state from 1977 to 1995.
Arizona, the Daily Star noted, still leans Republican, with 36 percent of voters identifying themselves as members of the GOP and 30 percent as Democrats. But the state also has plenty of independents, with 33 percent of voters claiming no allegiance to either party.
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