If there is a patriarch of rural, small-town Arizona politics, it's Jake Flake, R-Snowflake.
The native Arizonan has served in the Arizona House of Representatives since 1997 and is wrapping up a term as House speaker. He's now campaigning for a seat in the Arizona Senate. His political life started at the grass-roots level. He's been president of two school boards, president of an irrigation district, member of a hospital operating board and a member of a farm credit council's board of directors.
In 1999, he was named the Legislator of the Year by the Arizona Association of Counties and was the American Legion of Arizona Distinguished Legislator of the Year in 1997. Also, in 1997 and 2000 he was named the Legislator the Year by the County Supervisors Association of Arizona.
His committee assignments in the Legislature have included Natural Resources, Agriculture, Water and Native American Affairs.
He's a past president of the Snowflake Stake of the LDS church and has worked extensively with the Boy Scouts of America and the Cattle Growers Association.
Flake also has been a member of the Governor's Growing Smarter Commission and sponsored legislation in the House of Representatives to manage growth and provide open spaces.
Flake, who must give up the speaker position because of term limits, is running for the District 5 Senate seat that has been held by Senate Minority Leader Jack Brown, D-St. Johns. Brown is trying to switch seats with Flake.
A 1960 graduate of Arizona State University, Flake grew up on his father's ranch in Snowflake.
He says his childhood chores on the family ranch taught him that true success comes through hard work and self-sufficiency.
He eventually purchased the family ranch, now known as the F Bar Cattle Co., with his three brothers.
Politically, Flake identifies himself as a strong conservative and says Arizona's future lies in the strength of its families, not the size of its government. He considers his family --hich includes his wife of 43 years, Marie Louise, 13 children and 39 grandchildren --is greatest accomplishment.
Flake was named after his great grandfather who helped found the town of Snowflake.