The race to replace Jeff Flake has become less crowded as one of the challengers has dropped out.
Former state Senate Majority Leader Chuck Gray announced today that he has withdrawn from the race rather than challenge the three other candidates for the seat. With Gray out, the race remains between former state House Speaker Kirk Adams, former Congressman Matt Salmon and Arizona Air National Guard Capt. Travis Grantham.
Gray announced his candidacy in February, before the congressional district lines were drawn by the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. At the time, Gray said that the residences of his challengers were so far from his house that he believed they would be running in separate districts.
Instead, the lines drew all four challengers into the 5th Congressional district.
“I cannot permit the conservative vote in the East Valley to be split in a way that allows a less conservative voice to prevail,” Gray said in a press release.
Instead, Gray is endorsing Salmon and encouraged his supporters to throw their weight behind him, as well.
Flake announced in January that he would not seek re-election in order to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Jon Kyl.