She's Back! Kelli Ward Vows To Take On Jeff Flake In '18 Arizona Senate Primary

Kevin Baird

After an unsuccessful bid to unseat Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in a primary this year, Kelli Ward says she's planning to run against junior Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) in 2018.

On her radio show, Ward– who earned the nickname "chem trail Kelli" for her embrace of a conspiracy theory – made her announcement Thursday that she was ready to challenge the "semi-well-liked" Flake, as she put it.

“Sen. Flake might be semi-well-liked, but he doesn’t have the longevity of John McCain, he doesn’t have the reach of John McCain, he doesn’t have the war hero status of John McCain,” Ward said, according to a write up from Politico, “I think it’s an excellent opportunity for us.”

Flake has been at the center of the Republican fight against Donald Trump, whom Flake has criticized for his tone, disparaging comments against immigrants and religious intolerance. Flake has also been one of the few Republicans in 2016 who has called out his own party out at times for their intransigence. Just this week as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) argued his party should block Supreme Court nominees from moving forward under a Democratic president, Flake pushed for his party to vote on Obama's nominee Merrick Garland in the lame duck session

Flake told Politico that he's known all along he'd end up having a primary challenge.

“Might as well be her," he said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lauren Fox is a reporter at Talking Points Memo.
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