Conservative Sen.-Elect Warns Supporters, 'Not Every Vote I Cast Will Be Popular'

By Susan Jones | November 7, 2012 | 11:19 AM EST

U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., waves to supporters at an election night party, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, at a hotel in Phoenix. (AP Photo)

( - Rep. Jeff Flake, who successfully ran for the U.S. Senate in Arizona, warned his supporters Tuesday night that difficult decisions lie ahead -- and he may not always please his constituents with the way he votes:

"I can tell you that decisions are going to have to be made that won't be popular. Not every vote I cast will be popular," Flake said.

"But I can guarantee you that every vote I cast, every decision I make, will be made knowing what's at stake and knowing that this state has to have a brighter future, and those who live in it. And Arizona's sunsets will always be eclipsed by the sunrise in the next morning. That we can have a better future for our kids and our grandkids than we have had. That's what I am going to do in Washington.”

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A five-term congressman, Flake defeated Democrat Richard Carmona, who served as surgeon general under George W. Bush, with around 50 percent of the vote to Carmona's 45 percent.

Flake’s congressional website says he is dedicated to shrinking the size and scope of government and reducing wasteful spending.

In September, Flake co-sponsored an amendment dubbed the "Stop the War on Coal Act of 2012." The amendment said the states – not the Environmental Protection Agency – should have primary regulatory authority when it comes to controlling regional haze.

Flake also voted against a stopgap measure to fund the federal government in the absence of regular budget bills; he voted in favor of a bill to repeal Obamacare; and he is a strong immigration-control advocate.

In 2011, Flake introduced a border security bill that, among other things, called for the deployment of up to 6,000 National Guard troops and 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents to the United States-Mexico border by 2016

The American Conservative Union gave Flake a rating of 100 percent based on his 2011 House voting record, which suggests he’ll be an advocate for conservative principles in the Democrat-controlled Senate as it tries to enact President Obama’s second-term agenda.