Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona is expected to resign

Thursday , December 07, 2017 - 5:01 PM

Mike DeBonis

(c) 2017, The Washington Post.

WASHINGTON - Rep. Trent Franks, an Arizona Republican who is among the most conservative members of the House, is expected to resign his seat as soon as Thursday, according to a GOP member and an aide familiar with his plans.

Leaving the House floor Thursday, Franks did not confirm or deny those plans, telling reporters that he would put out a statement later in the day.

While Franks was on the floor Thursday voting on a stopgap funding bill and other measures, he appeared to be consoled by a number of fellow Republicans. At one point, Franks and four colleagues locked arms and bowed their heads in an apparent prayer.

Franks was poised to issue a statement Thursday night saying he wouldresign effective Jan. 31, according to a person familiar with his plans who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the situation.

Roll Call first reported on Franks’ expected resignation.

Franks has served in the House since 2003 and is known as a fierce opponent of legal abortion, recently sponsoring a bill banning abortions after 20-week gestation that passed the House. He is also an outspoken critic of the Senate’s filibuster rule, blaming it for blocking numerous conservative bills.

Franks is also a member of the House Freedom Caucus, a hard-right faction that has often clashed with Republican leaders.

He considered a run for Senate in 2012, dropping out suddenly in a manner that fueled speculation in Arizona political circles about a potential issues with his personal life. But no revelations were aired in the aftermath of the decision, and Franks went on to assume the chairmanship of a House Judiciary subcommittee.

Names of potential successors in Franks’s deeply Republican District west of Phoenix include Kimberly Yee, a state representative currently running for state treasurer, and Phil Lovas, a former state representative, according to multiple Arizona GOP operatives.

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The Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe contributed to this report.

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