Flake defeats Carmona for Arizona Senate seat

November 07, 2012

Congressman Jeff Flake is moving to the Senate after his victory on Election Night. He replaces the retiring Jon Kyl. Flake was favored at the beginning of the campaign, but as KJZZ’s Al Macias reports, the victory did not come easily.

AL MACIAS: The six-term congressman won the GOP primary and faced former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona in the general election. Flake had the support of both Arizona senators, who ironically had both supported Carmona for Surgeon General in 2002. Both candidates hurled charges at one another in the closest senate race in more than three decades. Flake said both parties must agree to deal with the nation’s debt.

JEFF FLAKE: We have divided government so we gotta reach across the aisle. We just have to do it in a way that limits the size of government. We have to take care of this debt and deficit that we have, because that’s the biggest problem we have. That’s the paramount issue of our time.

MACIAS: In Tucson, Carmona thanked his supporters for their efforts.

RICHARD CARMONA: We ran a race I’ll always be proud of without the trash talk and divisive partisanship that defines our modern politics. That’s a lot to be proud of tonight and a lot of thanks to go around. All of you invested a lot of yourselves in this campaign and I can’t thank you enough.

MACIAS: Flake’s final victory margin won’t be known until all the votes, including provisional ballots, are counted over the next several days. But it looks like his margin will be about 9 percent, making it the closest race since Barry Goldwater won his last senate campaign in 1982 by a little more than 1 percent of the vote.

Election results from the Arizona Secretary of State.

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