Today we mourn the loss of one of Arizona’s last cowboy legislators, Sen. Jake Flake, who passed away this morning.
Sen. Flake, a rancher who formerly served as Speaker of the House, was a solid, common sense conservative who was loved even by those who disagreed with him. God, family and country were his priorities, and he brought integrity and hard work to everything he did.
My wife and I met him and his wife of nearly 49 years, Mary Louise, at a conference we were both attending in Colorado during his first term in the legislature 11 years ago. Because we had a rental car we had the pleasure of driving them each day from the hotel to the convention.
Sen. Flake was an early and vocal supporter of my candidacy for Governor. If I look happy and relieved in the photo above, it is because I made it through the entire Snowflake parade atop one of Jake’s horses without any hugely embarrassing photo-op moments, largely due to Jake and his mount staying by my side. That made the news that he had been thrown from a horse two weeks ago all the more surprising.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Mary Louise and the entire Flake family.
Jake, you were one of a kind. We will miss you.