Steve Bannon Backs Kelli Ward In Race Against Arizona Sen. Flake
The race to knock U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake off the Republican ticket has begun with former state lawmaker Kelli Ward launching her campaign on Tuesday night.
Ward, a doctor from Lake Havasu City, enlisted some of the biggest names in conservative media for the kickoff - former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and conservative talk show host and author Laura Ingraham.
“It’s an open revolt and it should be,” Bannon said to the crowd gathered at a hotel in Scottsdale. Bannon, who is now executive chairman of Breitbart News, went on to describe how he watched Mitch McConnell and other Senate Republicans try to “attack” and “destroy” President Trump every day.
“These people hold you in total contempt,” he said. “You’re an existential threat to their business model.”
Bannon touted the recent Alabama primary where the candidate he backed, a controversial judge named Roy Moore, beat out the incumbent, Senator Luther Strange.
“Kelli Ward believes in securing our southern border and building a wall," Bannon said. "Kelli Ward believes in building tough trade deals that represent you, the American people.”
Ward ran unsuccessfully last year against Sen. John McCain.
In her second bid for Congress, Ward is hoping to tap into growing dissatisfaction with Flake who has been an outspoken critic of Trump.
“Jeff Flake on almost every single issue stands diametrically opposed to President Trump,” Ingraham said.
Trump has indicated support for Ward, but has not officially endorsed her yet.
In her speech, Ward went through the list of Make American Great Again promises that have remained important to many in Trump’s base: building a wall on the southern border, ramping up immigration enforcement, repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act and simplifying the tax code.
“Obviously taking on the establishment on the left and the right is not easy. It’s not cheap,” she said. “But if we want a different outcome from Washington D.C., we have got to send different people there.”
The Republican nominee will likely face Democratic Congresswoman from Phoenix Kyrsten Sinema in the general election.