Flake to visit New Hampshire amid 2020 speculation

Flake to visit New Hampshire amid 2020 speculation
© Greg Nash

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeVulnerable senators hold the key to Trump's fate Trump's GOP impeachment firewall holds strong How to survive an impeachment MORE will visit New Hampshire next month amid increasing speculation that the retiring Arizona Republican may mount a 2020 primary challenge to President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE

Flake is set to speak at Saint Anselm's New Hampshire Institute of Politics and give an address titled “After the Deluge: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle.”

The visit will be Flake’s second this year to New Hampshire, the nation's first presidential primary state and second contest after the Iowa caucuses.

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The visit could fuel further speculation that Flake, a frequent Trump critic who is retiring in January, could run for president either as an Independent or a Republican.

“It's not in my plans. But I’ve not ruled anything out. I do hope that somebody runs on the Republican side other than the president, if nothing else, simply to remind Republicans what conservatism is and what Republicans have traditionally stood for,” Flake said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” in May.

There is also speculation that Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), who ran for president in 2016, could challenge Trump in 2020 as well.

Kasich has also visited New Hampshire and represents a perennial swing state. No Republican has ever won the presidency without winning Ohio in the general election.

Potential Democratic 2020 contenders are being much less coy about their ambitions, with several making multiple trips to crucial states. 

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Graham: 'Stupid' for Trump to ask China to investigate Biden Romney: Republicans don't criticize Trump because they fear it will help Warren MORE has so far made trips to Iowa, Florida and South Carolina, among others. Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' Warren says she will unveil plan to finance 'Medicare for All' Ocasio-Cortez says endorsing Sanders early is 'the most authentic decision' she could make MORE (I-Vt.) has visited Iowa, North Carolina and New Hampshire; Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Warren, Yang fight over automation divides experts Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE (D-Mass.) has visited Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio; and Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisWarren says she will unveil plan to finance 'Medicare for All' Kamala Harris reacts to supporter who got tattoo of her handwriting Even with likely Trump impeachment, Democrats face uphill climb to win presidency MORE (D-Calif.) has made trips to Florida, Virginia and Ohio. Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerWarren says she will unveil plan to finance 'Medicare for All' Gabbard hits back at 'queen of warmongers' Clinton The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden camp faces new challenges MORE (D-N.J.) has made trips to Florida, Michigan and Wisconsin.