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Arizona Rep. Sinema open to running for Senate against Flake

PHOENIX — Arizona Rep. Krysten Sinema said it was possible she’d consider running for Senate next year, a seat that belongs to Jeff Flake.

“I’ve heard from many Arizonans encouraging me to run for the United States Senate. It is something I am seriously considering. When I make any decisions, Arizonans will be the first to know,” Sinema said in a statement early Friday.

It would be a reversal from May, when she told KTAR 92.3 FM’s Darin Damme that she would run for re-election. Sinema, a Democrat, is a three-term congresswoman.

Sinema was also thought to be a potential opponent of Republican Sen. John McCain in 2016.

If she ran for Senate, Sinema would have competition in the primary: Phoenix attorney Deedra Abboud, a Muslim-American whom Flake defended after she was harassed online.

Flake’s ability to hold on to the seat is is considered shaky. He was critical of President Donald Trump during the campaign and his recent book, “Conscience of a Conservative” took the GOP to task over Trump’s rise to the White House.

The junior senator from Snowflake has watched his approval ratings fall, the White House has taken an interest in unseating him and he has at least one immediate challenge from his party: former state Sen. Kelli Ward announced last fall she was running against him.

Arizona State Treasurer Jeff DeWit’s name has been floated. He served as chief operating officer for Trump’s campaign.

Former State Republican Party Chair Robert Graham has also been mentioned, but he has said he had no plans for now to make a run.

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