Kelli Ward must be saying “Pardon me?” in reaction to news that she might not be the only one challenging Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, a fellow Republican, in 2018.
Now former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is making noises about joining the race to unseat Flake, a critic of President Trump.
“I could run for mayor, I could run for legislator, I could run for Senate,” Arpaio told the Washington Examiner. “I’m sure getting a lot of people around the state asking me” to challenge Flake, whom Trump has tweeted against.
But Ward, an osteopathic doctor and member of the Arizona State Senate, thought she’d be the only primary challenger — hoping for Trump’s support.
But with Trump’s pardon of Arpaio for violating federal law, Ward may be left holding the bag.
The Hill said: “The sheriff’s proximity to Trump would add even more intrigue to the race if he ran, raising questions as to whether Trump would decide to back his primary bid. Arpaio told the Examiner that the two have not spoken this year.”
Politico noted that Arpaio, who is 85, bristled at the notion that his age might count against him if he were to run for office again.
He told the Examiner that “there is discrimination against senior citizens, big time” and that “the bottom line is there’s no way I’m going to go fishing. I have no hobbies. They just say Sheriff Joe Arpaio comma 85 years old. Why do they always say that? I’m proud to be my age. I work 14 hours a day. If anyone thinks my age is going to hold me back, I’ve got news for them.”