Monday, August 28, 2017


The Washington Examiner reports that Joe Arpaio might run for Jeff Flake's Senate seat:
After receiving President Trump's first pardon, Joe Arpaio's plans have gone from possible prison to book-writing, speeches and potentially another run for office in Arizona, with Sen. Jeff Flake's seat one opportunity he is eyeing....

"I could run for mayor, I could run for legislator, I could run for Senate," Arpaio said Monday. One particular race, however, is likely to gain significant attention: the GOP primary next year facing Flake, R-Ariz., a forceful Trump critic.

"I'm sure getting a lot of people around the state asking me" to challenge Flake, said Arpaio, who served 24 years as sheriff before losing reelection in 2016. "All I'm saying is the door is open and we'll see what happens. I've got support. I know what support I have."
Jeff Flake is a Republican who's alienating his party's base by criticizing President Trump. Flake has the lowest in-state approval rating of any senator, according to Morning Consult -- only 37% of Arizonans approve of him. He's extremely vulnerable in 2018.

But he already has a challenger who's beating him by double digits in an early poll: state senator Kelli Ward, who has the support of the pro-Trump Great America PAC. It seems very likely that Flake would lose a one-on-one primary against Ward. But against Ward and Arpaio? Flake could easily win a plurality. And if I understand correctly, that would be sufficient to send him to the general election under Arizona rules.

Ward and Arpaio would be competing for a lot of the same voters. We know Arpaio is a wingnut media star. Ward also makes great use of the conservative noise machine -- she's frequently seen on Fox, she's been endorsed by Sean Hannity, she's made appearances with Alex Jones and Roger Stone, she's been heard on Breitbart radio....

You know how Democrats have trouble making young officeholders into stars? Republicans seem to have the opposite problem: The right-wing media turns practically every GOP fanatic into a star. I wish the Democrats had a problem like that -- but in this case, two stars might cancel each other out.

Hey, Arizona GOP, go ahead and turn this race into a three-way brawl, with the likely result being a bruised, weakened, cash-strapped nominee. I'll cook up some popcorn.

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