The field to replace former Rep. Trent Franks (R) is developing quickly.
Former Trump appointee Phil Lovas (R) resigned his current post in the Small Business Administration “without explanation and announced it over Twitter” ahead of a likely run for former Franks’ (R) seat. “Campaign consultant Brian Seitchik said Lovas ‘would have more to say about his future later in the week.’ State Treasurer Jeff DeWitt praised him as a “great choice for voters.” (KJZZ)
Meanwhile, motivational speaker Travis Angry (R) announced his run for the seat on Monday. He’s a military veteran and a cancer survivor. (Twitter)
ON BOARD. And state Sen. Steve Montenegro (R) notched an endorsement from Sheriff Joe Arpaio. (release)
BY THE NUMBERS. An ABC 15/OH Predictive Insights poll, “conducted Monday among likely Republican special primary voters, shows” former state Corporation Commission Chairman Bob Stump (R) “with the early lead and the most name recognition among a potentially crowded field.” Stump won 18 percent of the vote in the IVR survey (Dec. 10; 400 LVs; +- 4.89%), in which 37 percent were still undecided. State Sen. Debbie Lesko (R) “would get 16 percent of the vote.” County Commissioner Clint Hickman (R) “would capture 15 percent of the vote.” State Sen. Kimberly Yee (R) “would get seven percent. Aside from Stump, none of the other top potential candidates have formally declared their candidacy.”
“Sixty-three percent of GOP voters say a Trump endorsement would make them more likely to vote for a candidate. Forty-three percent of voters say a Franks endorsement would make them more likely to support a candidate.” (ABC 15)
RESIGN TO RUN. “The unusual timing of Franks’ resignation would surely trigger Arizona’s ‘resign to run’ law, said elections lawyer Tim La Sota, a former state Republican Party general counsel. That’s because a Jan. 10 deadline for filing nomination petitions is less than a year before the current legislative terms end on Jan. 14, 2019.” Montenegro, who launched a bid Monday, plans to resign. (KJZZ)
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"National Security Adviser John Bolton said Tuesday that President Trump will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Paris on Nov. 11, the 100th anniversary of the armistice ending World War I. ...Bolton was in Moscow to meet with Putin about Trump's decision to withdraw from a landmark nuclear weapons treaty, a move the Kremlin says 'will make the world more dangerous.'"
"Saudi Arabia said Saturday that Jamal Khashoggi, the dissident Saudi journalist who disappeared more than two weeks ago, had died after an argument and fistfight with unidentified men inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Eighteen men have been arrested and are being investigated in the case, Saudi state-run media reported without identifying any of them. State media also reported that Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri, the deputy director of Saudi intelligence, and other high-ranking intelligence officials had been dismissed."
"Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is scrutinizing how a collection of activists and pundits intersected with WikiLeaks, the website that U.S. officials say was the primary conduit for publishing materials stolen by Russia, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. Mueller’s team has recently questioned witnesses about the activities of longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone, including his contacts with WikiLeaks, and has obtained telephone records, according to the people familiar with the matter."
"Special Counsel Robert Mueller is expected to issue findings on core aspects of his Russia probe soon after the November midterm elections ... Specifically, Mueller is close to rendering judgment on two of the most explosive aspects of his inquiry: whether there were clear incidents of collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, and whether the president took any actions that constitute obstruction of justice." Mueller has faced pressure to wrap up the investigation from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, said an official, who would receive the results of the investigation and have "some discretion in deciding what is relayed to Congress and what is publicly released," if he remains at his post.