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Flake fundraiser in Scottsdale features ex-presidential candidate Rubio

(Screenshot; AP Photo)

PHOENIX — A luncheon fundraiser for Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake was scheduled Monday in Scottsdale, with the incumbent Republican bringing in a well-known name — Florida Sen. Marco Rubio — as headliner.

The junior senator’s 2018 re-election campaign has been busy lining up money and supporters even as President Donald Trump and colleagues in his own party search for challengers.

Still, Flake has accumulated $3.4 million so far and raised $1.1 million in the quarter that ended Sept. 30.

He has notable backers. Another former presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, visited the Valley in June for two fundraiser appearances on Flake’s behalf. The Washington Examiner reported former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was also set to be in the state to push for Flake.

But the Arizona native has opposition from a White House Administration he has crossed through criticism of the president and a fault-finding book aimed at the GOP.

Former state Sen. Kelli Ward has been hitting him hard in online ads but Trump reportedly met with other potential candidates when he was in Phoenix for a rally in August.

If Flake makes it though the primary he’s likely to face a strong 2018 general election challenge from Democratic U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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