SC Sen. DeMint Endorses Rep. Flake for Arizona's Senate Seat

Monday, 30 Apr 2012 04:18 PM

By Dan Weil

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Powerful conservative Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., is going all out to help the Senate bid of Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., endorsing him and sending him money through DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund PAC.

“When it comes to fighting wasteful Washington spending and parochial politics, nobody has done more to advance the cause of freedom than Jeff Flake, nobody,” DeMint wrote Monday in an email to supporters. An aide to DeMint told The Hill that the PAC gives cash to every candidate it endorses.

Flake is far ahead of opponent Wil Cardon in the Republican primary for the seat of retiring GOP Sen. Jon Kyl. But Cardon, a real estate investor, has promised he won’t be outspent in the race.

“Just recently, Wil Cardon directly attacked your freedom to engage in the political process. He called for a ban on campaign spending by citizen groups like the Senate Conservatives Fund,” DeMint wrote. “He says you should be silenced and that your constitutional right to make your voice heard should be taken away.”

Flake’s real challenge could come in the general election from Democrat Richard Carmona, a former U.S. surgeon general under President George W. Bush. DeMint’s endorsement signals Republicans may see Carmona as a real threat. Democrats are eager to put up a stiff fight for the seat.

DeMint’s conservative, tea-party-backed seal of approval has been sought by many GOP Senate candidates, and he has been working hard to help Josh Mandel in Ohio, Mark Neumann in Wisconsin, and Don Stenberg in Nebraska.

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