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GOP rep who voted to oust McCarthy gets primary challenger

An Arizona county commissioner filed a primary challenge against Rep. Eli Crane (R-Ariz.) on Sunday, adding to pressure on Republicans who voted to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) last year.

Former Yavapai County Supervisor Jack Smith filed paperwork to run in the 2nd District. Crane was one of eight GOP members who voted to remove McCarthy, a process which left legislation in limbo for weeks and eventually resulted in the election of Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.).

McCarthy, who retired from Congress in December, said he is open to working against some of those who removed him. Reps. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) and Bob Good (R-Va.) already face strong primary challengers.

Sources close to McCarthy told Politico last month that Crane is also a top target for the former Speaker. As a freshman member, he is seen as particularly vulnerable to a primary challenge.

Smith was Yavapai County supervisor until 2019, when he was named the Arizona director for the USDA Rural Development program by former President Trump.

Crane’s seat is solidly Republican, meaning the victor of the July 30 primary is likely to win the general election.

Truth Puke has reached out to Crane’s campaign for comment.

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