Kelli Ward

Kelli Ward: ‘I look forward to being part of that class of 2019’

Arizona Senate candidate Kelli Ward (R), who was polling ahead of Sen. Jeff Flake(R-Ariz.) in the GOP primary before he announced he wouldn’t run for reelection, touted her chances of being elected in 2018 in a Fox News interview Tuesday.

“We need new leadership, new GOP leadership in Washington, D.C., and I look forward to being a part of that class of 2019 who was putting the ‘America First’ agenda out in the forefront, and a policy that we create to secure the border, to stop illegal immigration, to get rid of ObamaCare, to fix the tax code, to grow the economy and to make sure our military is the strongest in the world so that we have peace through strength,” she told Fox News host Martha McCallum.

Ward spoke with McCallum hours after Flake announced he would not seek reelection. The two were expected to face off in the Republican primary for an Arizona Senate seat. Recent polls showed Ward with a sizable advantage over the incumbent, and Flake said he did not believe he could win.

It’s unclear who, if anyone, will emerge in the primary to challenge Ward. But Ward, a former state senator, said she doesn’t expect anyone to threaten her chances. Ward raised nearly $700,000 in the third quarter of 2017, bringing her total for the year to just over $1 million.

“We have everything in place to be able to get the Arizona voters what they are crying out for, a strong conservative leader in the United States Senate,” she said.

Ward has the support of the pro-Trump group Great America Alliance, and has the endorsement of former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon.

But Republicans consider Ward too controversial to be a successful general election candidate. A Republican super PAC with ties to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday argued Ward will not be the Republican nominee in the 2018 election to replace Flake.

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