Flake, 4 others seen as potential primary opponents to president

Bill Weld is already running, but now anti-Trumpers Joe Walsh, Jeff Flake, John Kasich and Mark Sanford may join

By Igor Derysh | Salon

Four former Republican lawmakers are considering joining former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld in the primary battle against President Donald Trump.

Former Reps. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., and Mark Sanford, R-S.C., are close to launching primary challenges to Trump, The Washington Post reports, while former Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich are being recruited into the race by anti-Trump Republican donors. The only Republican to formally announce his candidacy is Weld, who ran as Gary Johnson’s running mate on the Libertarian Party ticket in 2016, but has failed to gain any traction.

Flake, who frequently criticized Trump before leaving the Senate, has received a “flurry of recruitment calls” from Republican donors, according to the report. Flake has said he is “unlikely” to jump into the race but is keeping his “door slightly ajar.” The former Arizona senator said that Republican donors are worried that the slumping economy could cost Republicans the White House. 

“They are wondering, if the economy isn’t stellar next year, how is the party going to win? By the president offending more people?” Flake said.


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