Trump Endorses Veteran Eli Crane in Arizona
Eli Crane, a candidate for the Arizona 2nd Congressional district seat, speaks to the Prescott Valley Republican Women on July 5 in Prescott, Ariz. He has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)
By Luca Cacciatore | Friday, 22 July 2022 10:02 PM EDT
Former President Donald Trump announced his support on Friday for Navy SEAL veteran Eli Crane in his bid to unseat Democrat Tom O'Halleran in Arizona's newly drawn 2nd Congressional District.
"Eli is a retired Navy SEAL and successful businessman who proudly served and loves our incredible, but seriously under siege, Country. Eli will Fight for Election Integrity, Secure the Border, Support our Military and Vets, and Defend the Second Amendment," Trump wrote.
The former president also took shots at O'Halleran, referring to him as "a puppet" of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and "weak on Borders, the Second Amendment, [and] Election Integrity."
O'Halleran "is a total disgrace to the people of Arizona," he further emphasized.
Crane responded to the endorsement in an interview with Breitbart, referring to Trump as "the most respected and revered political leader in Arizona."
"He transformed the Republican party from a reactive group focused on managing the decline of America to a proactive, offensive-minded party focused on making America great again," the House candidate added.
A slew of Republicans announced that they would be run in Arizona's 2nd District after redistricting turned it from a partisan voting index of R+6 to R+15, according to data from FiveThirtyEight.
Because of that, Crane has a tough battle in the upcoming GOP primary, where he will face state Rep. Walter Blackman, author Mark DeLuzio and Williams Mayor John W. Moore.
An internal Crane poll published on July 13 showed him leading Blackman and DeLuzio by seven percentage points each, with a whopping 48% still undecided.
Meanwhile, the most recent Cook Political Report has the district as a likely flip to Republicans, regardless of who comes out on top next month.