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Flake to visit New Hampshire amid 2020 speculation

Flake to visit New Hampshire amid 2020 speculation
© Greg Nash

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeOn The Trail: Arizona is microcosm of battle for the GOP Trump looms large over fractured Arizona GOP Why Republican politicians are sticking with Trump MORE will visit New Hampshire next month amid increasing speculation that the retiring Arizona Republican may mount a 2020 primary challenge to President TrumpDonald TrumpNorth Carolina Senate passes trio of election measures 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday Border state governors rebel against Biden's immigration chaos 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 BidenJapan to possibly ease COVID-19 restrictions before Olympics 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday China supplies millions of vaccine doses to developing nations in Asia MORE has so far made trips to Iowa, Florida and South Carolina, among others. Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders opposes Biden Interior nominee in procedural vote Briahna Joy Gray on how Sanders changed the healthcare conversation Sanders 'delighted' DeSantis asked White House to import Canadian prescription drugs MORE (I-Vt.) has visited Iowa, North Carolina and New Hampshire; Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenThe Hill's Morning Report - Dems to go-it-alone on infrastructure as bipartisan plan falters Democratic patience runs out on bipartisan talks NYC progressives anxiously watch Maya Wiley's ascent MORE (D-Mass.) has visited Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio; and Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisIt's past time we elect a Black woman governor Manchin rebuffs progressive push for infrastructure guarantee It's time for domestic workers to have rights MORE (D-Calif.) has made trips to Florida, Virginia and Ohio. Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerZombie Tax punishes farmers to fill DC coffers Rand Paul does not support a national minimum wage increase — and it's important to understand why Absences force Senate to punt vote on Biden nominee MORE (D-N.J.) has made trips to Florida, Michigan and Wisconsin.