- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 31, 2017

PHOENIX (AP) - A congressman from Arizona has emerged as another possible challenger to U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake during his Republican primary next year.

U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar said people have asked him to consider running against Flake, and he is considering it, reported The Arizona Capitol Times (https://bit.ly/2jyYFOu ).

Gosar is a fourth-term Republican representing Arizona’s 4th Congressional District, which covers much of the rural western portion of the state.

Some Republicans are unhappy with Flake because of his frequent clashes with President Donald Trump. He spoke out against Trump during his 2016 campaign and has continued the criticism since he took office. Most recently, Flake spoke against the president’s executive order barring people from several predominantly Muslim countries from traveling to the United States.

“People are not happy. And you know, when people ask, I’m a dentist, and so I listen to what the problem is, I take in the information and make wise decisions. So I’ve made no decision, but that’s where we go,” Gosar told the Capitol Times.

Former state Sen. Kelli Ward has already declared her candidacy against Flake. Ward unsuccessfully challenged McCain last year and most political observers don’t view her as much of a threat to Flake.

There has also been speculation that state Treasurer Jeff DeWit will challenge Flake, but DeWit says he has not made any decision about the Senate race yet.

“I have no idea what the future holds at this time. I know that a lot of Republicans are very disappointed that Senator Flake was so critical of our president,” said DeWit.

The treasurer has been a close ally of Trump and became the first statewide elected official to endorse Trump in 2015.


Information from: Arizona Capitol Times, https://www.arizonacapitoltimes.com

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