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Kelli Ward attacks Flake in new campaign ad, claiming ‘Arizona deserves better’

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — The ongoing feud between Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake and President Donald Trump is front-and-center in a new campaign ad for the incumbent senator’s primary opponent.

Kelli Ward, who is running for Flake’s senate seat, released a new campaign ad on Monday, titled “Arizona deserves better.”

In the ad, the speaker questions Flake’s loyalty to the president and his agenda and uses his appearance in a Hillary Clinton campaign ad against him.

The ad opens with a clip from Flake’s campaign ad, which says: “I believe I’m just as conservative now as when I came into Congress.”

The speaker then retorts, “Really, Sen. Flake? Then why were you featured in a Hillary Clinton campaign ad, attacking Donald Trump? And why did you say he should drop out of the race?”

“Why did you say Donald Trump would never win Arizona, and refused to vote for him? Why aren’t you trying to work with President Trump on reforms that help Arizona, to create more US jobs, to build the wall and repeal Obamacare?” the ad continued.

Ward’s campaign ad also uses a photo of Flake and former President Barack Obama shaking hands.

However, the photo appears to be from 2011, when Obama signed a bill honoring federal judge John M. Roll, who was filled in the Tucson, Arizona, attack that wounded former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. McCain can also be seen in the original photo, but not in the ad, suggesting that the photo in the ad was doctored.

The ad also mentioned Flake’s new book, “Conscience of a Conservative,” claiming that the senator’s attacks on Trump were motivated by book sales.

“Sen. Flake, why are you still attacking the president? Just to sell copies of your new book? You’re not a conservative, and you’re not getting anything done,” the ad said.

Ward’s campaign falls short in cash compared to Flake

Ward announced her campaign against Flake in 2016, shortly after losing a primary campaign to Arizona Sen. John McCain. She is Flake’s most prominent Republican challenger in the primary election, but Arizona Treasurer Jeff DeWit and former Arizona Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham have been long rumored to enter the race.

Deedra Abboud, an immigration lawyer from Phoenix, is running as a Democrat to unseat Flake. Arizona Rep. Krysten Sinema said earlier this month that she is open to running for Senate, but has not formally announced a campaign.

But in political campaigns, money talks. While Ward has gotten a power boost from Eric Beach and Brent Lowder, whose Great America PAC was said to have raised close to $30 million for Trump’s campaign, she still trails Flake in cash-on-hand: $307,000 to Flake’s $2,967,785, according to the latest Federal Election Commission reports.

Robert Mercer, a longtime supporter of Trump, made a $300,000 donation to Ward’s superPAC earlier this month.

Ward finds support in Trump amid McCain criticisms

Ward recently came under fire for suggesting McCain step down from office after he was diagnosed with brain cancer in July.

But Trump himself recently voiced his support for her on Twitter, writing, “Great to see that Dr. Kelli Ward is running against Flake Jeff Flake, who is WEAK on borders, crime and a non-factor in Senate. He’s toxic!”

But Flake hit back, saying on Monday that he has better things to do than to listen to Trump’s insults. “I’m busy doing other things. It is what it is and we’ve got a lot of support around the state and we’ve got a good campaign. It’ll take care of itself.”

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