BREAKING NEWS : Father and son identified in deadly Leith Street double shooting Full Story
BREAKING NEWS : Allen County coroner identifies man found shot on Lewis Street Full Story
BREAKING NEWS : Infant announced as second death in Chancery Place house fire Full Story

Kelli Ward's DC charm offensive

Arizona US Senate hopeful Kelli Ward is here to show conservatives that she's not crazy -- and to convince them that ...

Posted: Feb 22, 2018 10:16 AM
Updated: Feb 22, 2018 10:16 AM

Arizona US Senate hopeful Kelli Ward is here to show conservatives that she's not crazy -- and to convince them that it's still worth spending money in GOP primaries.

Ward is in the middle of a week-long blitz in Washington that includes meetings with major donors and conservative outside groups, interviews and a trip to the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.

She's trying to galvanize the right against Rep. Martha McSally, one of her primary foes in the race to replace retiring Republican Sen. Jeff Flake -- even with Steve Bannon excommunicated and President Donald Trump seemingly less interested in a brawl with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that plays out through proxies in 2018 primaries.

The 10 Senate seats most likely to flip in 2018: February edition

Ward's argument: Democrats in Arizona are energized behind Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, but the GOP base might stay home rather than vote for McSally.

"What we as a party need to do is give Republicans a reason to go to the polls in November, because the Democrats certainly have some momentum and drive to get their people to the polls," Ward said in an interview with CNN. "What's not going to get Republicans to the polls is offering them the same kind of politician as John McCain and Jeff Flake in Arizona."

Ward has long fought for relevance in Trump's world. At a late 2017 Trump rally in Phoenix, he huddled with several allies backstage about finding a Flake primary challenger -- but Ward wasn't part of the conversation, got no mention from the stage and attended as part of the general crowd.

Fresh off an unsuccessful primary against McCain, Ward, the conservative former state senator launched her 2018 Senate campaign in October 2016 -- before Trump had even won the presidency. She appeared to help chase incumbent Flake into retirement. And shortly after Bannon departed the White House, she looked like a star member of his class of insurgents determined to unseat Republican senators in this year's primaries.

Now, though, Bannon is out of Trump's inner circle, and the White House is aligning itself much more closely with McConnell's political priorities.

And McConnell world has been clear: It's backing McSally.

Seeking to keep Republicans from coalescing around McSally's candidacy, Ward's campaign and outside conservative groups have cast McSally as a never-Trumper, highlighting her refusal to endorse Trump during the 2016 campaign.

In recent weeks, McSally has refused to say whether she voted for Trump. "Not your business," she told a Los Angeles Times reporter.

The three-way late-August primary also features former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, an anti-immigration hard-liner who threatens to siphon votes away from Ward.

Meetings in DC

Now Ward is in Washington for a week of meetings designed to demonstrate she's worth a heavy financial investment in a race where she's being pinched from both sides.

Her schedule included meetings with several conservative groups -- including Freedom Partners, a group related to the Koch brothers' donor network, the Heritage Foundation and the Club for Growth. She will also meet GOP megadonors, including Chicago-area businessman Dick Uihlein and Bill Doddridge, the CEO of the Jewelry Exchange, who launched a pro-Trump super PAC.

Ward is highlighting support from Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican who campaigned for her in Arizona last week and labeled McSally "Martha McSpender." Ward is also taking a hard line on immigration, accusing McSally of voting for "amnesty" for undocumented immigrants "at least nine times."

Chemtrails

Support for Ward's campaign from outside the state could be crucial: She has already faced ads launched by the McConnell-aligned super PAC Senate Leadership Fund portraying her as "Chemtrail Kelli."

It's a reference to a 2014 town hall Ward hosted where constituents raised concerns about "chemtrails" -- emissions left by airplanes flying overhead. Two state officials Ward had invited shot down the conspiracy theory at the meeting. But the ad said she "has got her head in the clouds with crazy ideas."

"I definitely don't believe that. That's ridiculous," Ward told CNN of the characterization of her as a believer in a "chemtrail" conspiracy.

"During the (2014) meeting, some of the people there talked about chemtrails -- and that's it. I mean really, that's the end of the story," she said. "However, the political story is, when you don't have anything to attack someone with, you bring up ridiculous things like chemtrails."

"It's a shame that people on our side of the aisle are trying to create a persona that doesn't exist," she said. "They're so focused on maintaining the status quo that they alienate a huge part of the Republican electorate, as well as many in the liberty movement, as well as independents, and even some conservative Democrats are turned off by that."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 117450

Reported Deaths: 3580
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21403766
Lake10618323
Elkhart6667111
St. Joseph6576110
Allen6292203
Hamilton4909109
Vanderburgh371931
Hendricks2747123
Monroe262736
Tippecanoe252313
Johnson2338124
Clark223657
Porter217647
Delaware198562
Cass19549
Vigo184327
Madison168975
LaPorte147441
Floyd138963
Warrick134440
Howard131863
Kosciusko124817
Bartholomew117957
Marshall101224
Dubois99119
Boone98646
Grant93334
Hancock93243
Noble92532
Henry80926
Jackson7689
Wayne76814
Morgan72938
Daviess67728
Shelby67729
Dearborn66528
LaGrange63911
Clinton60914
Harrison58724
Putnam58112
Gibson5305
Knox5259
Lawrence51529
Montgomery51121
DeKalb48711
White48614
Decatur45839
Miami4383
Greene42735
Fayette42313
Jasper3992
Steuben3877
Scott38111
Posey3400
Sullivan33812
Jennings31612
Franklin31125
Ripley3038
Clay3025
Orange28824
Whitley2796
Carroll27713
Adams2743
Wabash2718
Washington2691
Starke2677
Wells2654
Spencer2593
Jefferson2483
Huntington2453
Fulton2412
Tipton22822
Perry22113
Randolph2207
Jay1880
Newton17311
Owen1711
Martin1680
Pike1621
Rush1574
Vermillion1300
Fountain1282
Blackford1203
Pulaski1131
Crawford1080
Brown1043
Parke1032
Benton870
Ohio797
Union790
Switzerland690
Warren401
Unassigned0226

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 150809

Reported Deaths: 4741
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin26961607
Cuyahoga17490656
Hamilton13191315
Montgomery7883163
Lucas7322364
Butler6040111
Summit5332252
Marion310347
Warren309649
Mahoning3073281
Stark2883175
Pickaway267844
Lorain231786
Delaware228120
Fairfield211853
Licking193663
Columbiana193280
Wood190272
Trumbull1896132
Clark181040
Clermont173123
Lake163851
Medina147539
Greene146533
Miami145451
Allen144169
Portage115566
Mercer113218
Erie94647
Tuscarawas93620
Wayne93668
Richland90319
Ross89024
Madison83012
Darke80442
Geauga72349
Belmont72227
Hancock71210
Athens7072
Ashtabula65948
Lawrence65922
Shelby64910
Auglaize6089
Putnam60823
Sandusky57720
Huron5517
Union5452
Scioto5117
Seneca48514
Ottawa46930
Preble44015
Muskingum4213
Holmes3909
Jefferson3364
Defiance32511
Henry31814
Logan3123
Champaign3083
Clinton29913
Perry2989
Brown2902
Knox28615
Jackson2636
Morrow2612
Washington26123
Hardin25613
Fulton2461
Crawford2446
Ashland2424
Coshocton23411
Fayette2326
Highland2303
Williams2133
Wyandot21312
Pike2000
Gallia19113
Meigs17610
Guernsey1708
Hocking1669
Carroll1527
Adams1354
Van Wert1233
Monroe11018
Paulding1100
Harrison643
Morgan490
Vinton473
Noble330
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Broken Clouds
55° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 55°
Angola
Overcast
54° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 54°
Huntington
Overcast
55° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 55°
Decatur
Overcast
61° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 61°
Van Wert
Overcast
61° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 61°
Rain moves in for Monday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events