Congressional Profile: Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
Congressman Jeff Flake (R-AZ) currently scores a 96% on our Legislative Scorecard and is ranked the second most conservative of the Arizona delegation. He was first elected to represent Arizona’s 1st Congressional district in 2000, after the incumbent retired. The district was redrawn as the 6th district when Arizona gained two Congressional seats after the 2000 census. Rep. Flake was re-elected in 2002 as the representative of the 6th district.
Rep. Flake was born in Snowflake, Arizona in 1962. Snowflake, Arizona was named partially named after Rep. Flake’s great-great-grandfather, who was a Mormon pioneer. After serving as a missionary to South Africa, Rep. Flake graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations. He then received his Master’s Degree in Political Science. After college, he worked in public affairs, serving as the Executive Director of the Foundation for Democracy in Namibia in Africa. In 1992, he and his family moved back to Arizona where he served as the Executive Director of the Goldwater Institute.
During the 2004 election, Rep. Flake was blasted by local mayors in his district for refusing to bring pork barrel spending back to the district. Because of his opposition to earmarks, he has been called an “anti-earmark crusader.” He has even created a tradition called the “Flake Hour” in which he asks earmark sponsors to justify their pet projects on the House floor after a spending bill has been debated.
Rep. Flake originally campaigned with the intention of self-limiting his service to three terms. He changed his mind after being elected again in 2005, which was lucky for the conservative movement, which continues to need steadfast representatives.
Rep. Flake currently sits on the Appropriations Committee. He is also a member of the Liberty Committee and the Republican Study Committee.
This year, Rep. Flake is running for the U.S. Senate, as Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl will be retiring.
Rep. Flake has been married to his wife, Cheryl, since 1985. Together, they have five children and are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.