Conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham formally endorsed primary challenger to Sen. Jeff Flake, Dr. Kelli Ward, in a tweet on Tuesday.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) August 22, 2017
Ingraham’s tweet came just hours before President Donald Trump held a rally in Phoenix, Arizona, and just days after the President tweeted, “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!”
Ward reacted to Ingraham’s endorsement in a statement to Breitbart News, stating, “I’m honored to have earned Laura’s endorsement and enthusiastic support. She’s smart, articulate, and a conservative hero who will bring important momentum to our surging campaign.”
Ingraham endorsed Ward in the final days of her 2016 primary election challenge to Sen. John McCain. Ward, a practicing physician, served as an Arizona state senator from January 2013 to December 2015, stepping down from the position to focus on her campaign against McCain.
Ward and “Team Ward” were on site Tuesday for Trump’s rally. Though Trump did not technically name Flake during the rally, he made clear to whom he was referring when he slammed both Flake and McCain. Trump did, however, tweet about Flake the following morning:
Phoenix crowd last night was amazing – a packed house. I love the Great State of Arizona. Not a fan of Jeff Flake, weak on crime & border!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2017
Ward is already facing virulent attacks from Republican groups such as Sen. Mitch McConnell-linked Senate Leadership Fund and establishment Republican operative Karl Rove’s American Crossroads. The group launched an attack ad against Ward just ahead of Trump’s rally.
Ward’s campaign launched its own ad attacking Flake for his litany of anti-Trump remarks and efforts to obstruct the president’s agenda.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana.