The Mitch McConnell-affiliated Senate Leadership Fund has stepped into the Arizona Republican Senate primary in defense of incumbent Senator Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., in a new ad blasting Flake’s primary opponent, Dr. Kelli Ward.
Labeling her “Chemtrail Kelli,” the ad recalls a 2014 town hall meeting organized by Ward to discuss community concerns about the “chemtrails” conspiracy theory. The theory claims that the visible contrails left behind by airplanes contain dangerous chemicals for an unknown, insidious purpose.
The new ad echoes previous campaign ads by Senator John McCain’s re-election committee that were run against Ward in the 2016 Republican Senate primary.
McCain defeated Ward by more than ten points and 60,000 votes.
McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund may find itself opposed to the preferences of President Trump in the Arizona primary. Trump has a standing feud with Senator Flake, who did not support the president’s 2016 campaign, and last week Trump tweeted support for Ward’s campaign against Flake, “who is WEAK on borders, crime and a non-factor in Senate,” the president said.
The president is holding a campaign-style rally in Phoenix, Ariz., Tuesday, where he is fueling speculation that he could officially endorse a primary challenger to Sen. Flake, possibly Dr. Ward or state treasurer Jeff DeWit.