Politics

In Campaign Pledge, Arizona Senate Candidate Promised To Limit Terms — Then Didn’t

Jeff Flake’s views on term limits have become a campaign issue in his race for the Senate. In 2000, he pledged to limit his own time in office.

Arizona Congressman Jeff Flake, running against businessman Wil Cardon in the Republican primary for Jon Kyl’s Senate seat, has come under fire for promising to stick to self-imposed term limits at the beginning of his service and not following through on the pledge.

In a campaign newsletter from July 3rd, 2000, and pointed out to BuzzFeed by a Democratic source, Flake told supporters that he will take the same pledge that his predecessor Matt Salmon did.

“Congressman Matt Salmon has set an excellent example by pledging to limit his terms - and now keeping his promise,” Flake wrote. “I have taken the same pledge and will follow Matt’s precedent. I believe it is the right thing to do and is what our Founding Fathers intended.” Salmon had promised to only serve three terms in Congress.

Elsewhere in the letter Flake lambasts “professional politicians” who “want to make Congress their career” and quotes Benjamin Franklin in favor of politicians returning to the private sector. Flake has represented Arizona’s 6th Congressional District since 2001.

Flake’s spokesman didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

Flake’s opponent Cardon has made the term limits promise a campaign issue, releasing a video in which Flake says of the pledge, “I lied. I don’t know what else to say.”

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