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Kelli Ward backs away from former White House adviser Steve Bannon

PHOENIX — Arizona Senate candidate Dr. Kelli Ward is cutting ties with former White House strategist Steve Bannon a few months after he introduced her at a campaign fundraiser.

“He’s made some significant mistakes, significant gaffes that are unacceptable to me,” Ward, a Republican, said Thursday morning on CNN.

Bannon has found himself on the outs with President Donald Trump and the rest of the White House administration after he made disparaging remarks about Trump and his family in a new book.

Bannon spoke at a rally for Ward in October, an event that was described as a campaign kickoff, although Ward announced her candidacy for fellow Republican Sen. Jeff Flake’s seat in 2016.

Flake is retiring after his term expires early next year.

“He was never part of my campaign,” the former state senator from Lake Havasu City said of Bannon, adding that she didn’t know whether she had “actually got a full endorsement from Steve.”

He introduced her at the Scottsdale event, and went on to say that Washington in-fighting had sown a whirlwind and “that whirlwind is Kelli Ward.” He went on praise her efforts in supporting the president.

“If you have Kelli Ward’s back, trust me, we’re going to turn this country around,” he said.

A poll this week of likely Arizona voters showed that Ward had fallen behind former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, who has not officially announced a run for the outgoing Flake’s seat.

Arpaio announced his candidacy Tuesday.

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