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McSally reportedly tells colleagues she’s entering Arizona Senate race

(AP Photo/Molly Riley, File)

PHOENIX — It looks as if the race for one of Arizona’s seats in the U.S. Senate just heated up even further: U.S. Rep. Martha McSally has reportedly told her colleagues she’s planning to toss her hat into the ring.

McSally hasn’t made a formal announcement of her intention to run in next year’s Republican primary. But Arizona Rep. David Schweikert told the Associated Press that she had told fellow Arizona GOP members of Congress that she was running.

McSally would face off against former state Sen. Kelli Ward, who challenged U.S. Sen. John McCain last year but lost in the primary.

Ward was considered the front-runner in next year’s race and recently was endorsed by U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

However, she received some negative press after saying McCain should consider retiring after his brain cancer diagnosis and floating her own name as a possibility to take over. She later claimed that was a smear campaign against her.

Ward could also face opposition from other Republicans. Jay Heiler, a Phoenix attorney, was reportedly considering a run and President Donald Trump met with other potential candidates before his August campaign rally in Phoenix.

Arizona State Treasurer Jeff DeWit said last month on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News that whomever supports Trump will likely take the primary.

“The president is very popular in Republican circles in Arizona, more so than any other state. Whoever is going to win the primary … is going to be whoever the president supports,” he said.

U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema is seeking her party’s nomination for the seat along with several lesser-known Democrats.

Flake announced last month that he would not seek re-election. He has been an outspoken critic of Trump and acknowledged that he could not win a GOP primary in the current political climate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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