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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"The top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee says Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., is poised to subpoena the Justice Department for former FBI Director James Comey’s memos, which the agency so far has failed to produce. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., warned such a move puts Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in jeopardy of being placed in contempt of Congress and the special counsel investigation of being shut down prematurely."
Referring to the AUMF introduced by Sens. Tim Kaine and Bob Corker Monday evening, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday "he won’t allow any bill to come to the House floor that he thinks would restrict military commanders’ ability to fight." Ryan "defended the legality of U.S. military strikes last week against chemical weapons-related sites in Syria, saying President Trump had the authority to order them under the Constitution’s Article II commander-in-chief powers."
Attorneys for both President Trump and his attorney Michael Cohen lost a court challenge today, as they sought to suppress evidence gathered in a raid of Cohen's office and hotel room. "U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood denied the requests and ruled that prosecutors will get first access to the information, followed by Cohen’s defense team ten days later. Wood noted that she has not yet decided whether she will appoint a special master in the case at all."