Jeff Flake, former Arizona senator and Latter-day Saint, chosen to be ambassador to Turkey

If confirmed, the former U.S. senator from Arizona, a Latter-day Saint, would be the top U.S. diplomat in Turkey.

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, speaks with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

President Joe Biden has asked former Republican Senator from Arizona Jeff Flake to become the next ambassador to Turkey.

Flake attended Brigham Young University and is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was also a founding member of the Republicans for Biden group in the 2020 election.

That put him at odds with many GOP members, including Utah Sen. Mike Lee, who not only co-chaired former President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign in Utah but was also headlining a Latter-day Saint event for Trump in Arizona.

Traditionally, the Senate looks fondly at former members nominated for administration posts, though Flake’s endorsement of a Democratic president may change that dynamic among Republicans.

Not with Lee.

The Utah curator immediately signaled his support for a Facebook post, writing “Jeff and Cheryl Flake are dear friends and honorable people. They will represent the United States well in this critical role at an important time. President Biden is wise in choosing them.

Flake released a statement, saying, “With this appointment, the Biden administration reaffirms the best tradition of American foreign policy and diplomacy: the credo that partisan politics must stop at the water’s edge. American foreign policy can and should be bipartisan. This is also my conviction and my commitment.

Since declining to seek another term in 2018, Flake has taken on the role of Distinguished Scholar at Brigham Young University. Sorensen Center for Moral and Ethical Leadership. He is also a Distinguished Fellow of Arizona State University.