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Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, A Trump Critic, Will Not Seek Re-Election

Sen. Jeff Flake, left, R-Ariz., who announced he will not run for reelection on Tuesday, appears at a hearing on border security in Arizona in 2015.

Updated at 3:12 p.m. ET

Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake said in an interview with the Arizona Republic on Tuesday that he will not seek re-election in 2018. He said to the paper, "there may not be a place for a Republican like me in the current Republican climate or the current Republican Party."

Flake decried the current coarse tone of American politics in a speech on the Senate floor.

"We must never meekly accept the daily sundering of our country — the personal attacks, the threats against principles, freedoms, and institutions, the flagrant disregard for truth or decency, the reckless provocations, most often for the pettiest and most personal reasons, reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with the fortunes of the people that we have all been elected to serve," Flake said.

Flake has been a frequent critic of President Trump since the 2016 campaign and, as a target of right-wing frustration himself, has been seen as vulnerable to a GOP primary challenge in 2018.

Flake's seat is a target for Democrats hoping to pick up a seat in a year that looks very good for Republicans in the Senate. His decision to retire throws the prospects for his seat up in the air.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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