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)
What We're Following See More »
"The Senate was expected to be back in session at noon, while House lawmakers were told to return to work for a 9 a.m. session. Mr. Trump on Friday had canceled plans to travel to his private resort on Palm Beach, Fla., where a celebration had been planned for Saturday to celebrate the anniversary of his first year in office."
"A stopgap spending bill stalled in the Senate Friday night, leading to a government shutdown for the first time since 2013. The continuing resolution funding agencies expired at midnight, and lawmakers were unable to spell out any path forward to keep government open. The Senate on Friday night failed to reach cloture on a four-week spending bill the House had already approved."
"The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency." Investigators have focused on Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank "who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA." The solicitation or use of foreign funds is illegal in U.S. elections under the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) by either lobbying groups or political campaigns. The NRA reported spending a record $55 million on the 2016 elections.
"Hundreds of new and supplemental FARA filings by U.S. lobbyists and public relations firms" have been submitted "since Special Counsel Mueller charged two Trump aides with failing to disclose their lobbying work on behalf of foreign countries. The number of first-time filings ... rose 50 percent to 102 between 2016 and 2017, an NBC News analysis found. The number of supplemental filings, which include details about campaign donations, meetings and phone calls more than doubled from 618 to 1,244 last year as lobbyists scrambled to avoid the same fate as some of Trump's associates and their business partners."