Tags: trump | critics | get | gop | challenges | 2018

Trump Critics Sens. Flake, Heller Might Face GOP Primaries in '18

Image: Trump Critics Sens. Flake, Heller Might Face GOP Primaries in '18
Sen. Jeff Flake (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Sunday, 23 Jul 2017 11:43 AM

Vulnerable Senate Republicans, Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Dean Heller, R-Nev., might face more than Democratic opposition in 2018, especially if the GOP's repeal of Obamacare fails at their hands, according to The Hill.

"We're watching the races in Arizona and Nevada closely and stand ready to support strong challengers who are true conservatives, have strong grassroots support, and can run a winning campaign," Senate Conservatives Fund President Ken Cuccinelli told The Hill in a statement.

Sens. Flake and Heller have been critical of President Trump, who has himself vowed to back opponents to those critical incumbents.

"If the president wants to recruit a primary opponent, that's his prerogative," Flake told The Washington Post. "He can do that. I've had issues with other Republican presidents on policy, maybe not as many. But anyway, that's what you do if you're a senator."

The White House has reportedly met with three potential Flake opponents, former state Sen. Kelli Ward, Arizona State Treasurer Jeff DeWit, and former Arizona Republican Party chairman Robert Graham. Ward is already in the race, while DeWit and Graham assisted the Trump campaign.

"I'm in this race to win it, and Jeff DeWit and Robert Graham both know that," Ward, who lost to the primary to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., by almost 20 points last year, told The Hill.

Ward is also seeking to be appointed McCain's interim replacement if he cannot continue in the Senate after his brain cancer diagnosis.

Arizona GOP Sens. Flake and McCain may be Trump critics, but the state GOP voters still give Trump 80 to 90 percent approval, according to The Hill.

President Trump is not asking senators to keep their promises on repeal Obamacare — he is ostensibly demanding it.

"There's not a sense of a veiled threat," White House legislative director Marc Short said earlier this week, per The Hill. "The president's been pretty direct in his words, and he's right now saying, 'This is what you promised.'"

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Vulnerable Senate Republicans, Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Dean Heller, R-Nev., might face more than Democratic opposition in 2018, especially if the GOP's repeal of Obamacare fails at their hands, according to The Hill."We're watching the races in Arizona and Nevada closely...
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Sunday, 23 Jul 2017 11:43 AM
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