Speed Reads

2018 elections

Vulnerable Arizona Republican Jeff Flake faces $300,000 threat from billionaire Trump donor

Republican Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.) has made an enemy out of President Trump, and Trump's wealthy backers are returning fire. Billionaire Robert Mercer, who helped fund Trump's journey to the White House, has now contributed $300,000 to a super PAC backing Kelli Ward, a former Republican senator who is challenging Flake in the Arizona primary, Politico reports.

Flake is one of the most vulnerable Republican senators up for re-election in 2018, and one who has made a name for himself recently by publicly opposing Trump. In addition to refusing to endorse Trump in 2016 (Trump at one point threatened to spend $10 million of his own money to see Flake fall in 2018), Flake wrote in his new book that the president's conduct "would have had conservatives up in arms had it been exhibited by our political opponents."

“We are so grateful to Mr. Mercer for his courageous support for Kelli Ward, a true conservative champion," said Kelli PAC chairman Doug McKee in a statement. "Early investments in a campaign like this are so valuable."