Former Sen. Flake political rival kills himself, wife reportedly says

Wil Cardon, an Arizona Republican who unsuccessfully ran against Jeff Flake for the U.S. Senate seat in 2012, died Saturday. He was 46.

Cardon’s wife, Nicole, said he killed himself. Cardon suffered from depression, a disease that he battled with “openness and honesty,” his family said.

Flake said on Twitter that Cardon  “was a good man and a good friend, gone far too soon.” The senator also tweeted that Cardon called to check on him after a left-wing gunman opened fire on Republican congressmen at a baseball practice in June.

Cardon lost to Mr. Flake in the primary. He also lost a bid for Arizona secretary of state in 2014. Cardon is survived by his wife and five children.

"His gregarious approach to life, business, our family and his faith enriched all who were fortunate to enjoy his warm embrace," Nicole Cardon, his wife, said in a statement. "I think the moments I witnessed with our children, helping a person on the side of the road, or even applying to be a high school football coach are what gave him the most joy."

She said he fought to overcome depression.

"We are proud of how he faced this disease with openness and honesty," she said, according to The Arizona Republic. "Today, it finally took him, as it takes far too many."

The Associated Press contributed to this report