Mitt Romney is supporting both candidates involved in a Republican Senate primary campaign currently being waged in Arizona.
The former Massachusetts governor and GOP presidential frontrunner donated $2,500 to the senate campaign committee of Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), "Jeff Flake For US Senate Inc.," on September 22, 2011. In addition, Romney's political action committee, Free and Strong America PAC Inc., gave $5,000 to Flake's campaign on April 4, 2011, according to campaign finance records.
Flake is a leading candidate to replace retiring Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.). He's endorsed Romney's presidential campaign and even appeared on the campaign trail on his behalf.
But he's not the only Arizona Republican vying for the soon-to-be-vacated seat. Businessman Wil Cardon has launched a longshot challenge and is working to tar Flake as a career politician. The latest survey by Public Policy Polling, conducted Feb. 17-19, has Flake leading Cardon 56 percent to 7 percent.
In what is perhaps an effort to cover his bases, Romney has donated to Cardon too. The former governor wrote a check for $2,500 to Wil Cardon For US Senate on October 18, 2011. Romney's sons Matt and Tagg also gave to Cardon -- $500 and $2,500, respectively -- in October and December of 2011.
Like Romney, Cardon has an MBA from Harvard Business School. He and Flake are both members of the same Mormon congregation, and their primary race is becoming a point of contention within that community.
Arizona will potentially be a contested state in the general election this fall. Romney's backing of each candidate means that he has endeared himself to the future Republican Senate nominee no matter what. But usually, politicians either pick someone to endorse and support or stay neutral in the race.
A request for comment from the Romney campaign as to why the former governor spread his donations wasn't immediately returned.
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