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Arizona politician claims he’s been offered White House position on social media

Arizona state Sen. Carlyle Begay, R-Ganado, formally announces his switch from the Democratic to the Republican party at the Arizona Capitol Monday, Nov. 23, 2015, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — A state senator from Arizona claimed on social media last week that he has been offered a post in President-elect Donald Trump’s White House.

Republican state Sen. Carlyle Begay posted a photo of himself on Instagram in front of the executive mansion with the caption, “It’s official…I’ll be working in the White House.”

The Navajo Nation Republican Party Facebook page took a screenshot of the photo and posted it. Begay’s Instagram account is private.

Begay has not confirmed the claim. It is unclear what potential role he might have been offered in the administration.

Like most of Trump’s new hires, Begay has demonstrated a loyalty to the president-elect. He attended July’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland as a delegate.

He also met with Trump prior to the convention.

Should he be officially offered a position in the administration, Begay would be the first Arizona politician picked up by Trump.

Several others — including former Gov. Jan Brewer — have been mentioned for possible roles. However, former Sen. Jon Kyl has ruled himself out of a job with the Trump administration and the president-elect named retired Marine Gen. John Kelly to lead the Department of Homeland Security, meaning outgoing Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is likely out of Cabinet consideration.

Begay represents District 7 at the state level. He suspended his race for Congress earlier this year and endorsed Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, who lost to Democrat Tom O’Halleran in November’s general election.

Begay was elected as a Democrat in 2014. However, he created a small uproar when he decided to cross the aisle and become a Republican the following year.

Begay said he re-registered as a Republican because the GOP platform more closely aligns with his beliefs.

“The party has proven to me that (it) is driven by the perspective of self-reliance, self-determination and self-empowerment. And that is very important for me because many of our communities, especially rural types of communities, are in the heels of paternalistic views of government,” Begay said at the time.

“One of the things that really strikes me as important to the future of our tribal communities is an era of self-determination.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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