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Former Arizona state Sen. Kelli Ward welcomes Arpaio to Senate race

(AP Photos)
LISTEN: Kelli Ward, Republican Candidate for Arizona Senate

PHOENIX — Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced his run for U.S. Senate on Tuesday, shaking up the race for the seat left vacant by Sen. Jeff Flake.

But Arpaio’s sole Republican challenger said while she was surprised that he announced his candidacy, she is not sweating the news.

“I was surprised, but once I had some time to think about it — you know, Sheriff Joe, he’s a patriot and has been fighting illegal immigration for decades — so I say, ‘Welcome to the race,'” said former state Sen. Kelli Ward on KTAR News 92.3 FM. 

“I enjoyed the couple months of being the sole Republican candidate since I drove Jeff Flake from the race…so you know, I say welcome to the race.”

Ward did not harp on the subject for long, immediately moving on to discuss her priorities, which included advancing President Donald Trump’s “America First” agenda and providing effective border security measures.

The former Arizona state senator announced her campaign for Flake’s seat in 2016, shortly after losing the primary election that year to U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Her Senate campaign got a boost in August after Eric Beach and Brent Lowder, whose Great America PAC was said to have raised close to $30 million for Trump’s campaign, came on board.

But more politicians could soon join her and Arpaio in the race for Flake’s seat, which will be left vacant after the junior senator announced that he would not seek re-election. U.S. Rep. Martha McSally is expected to announce her campaign any day after floating the possibility for months.

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