Allies of former White House adviser Steve Bannon say he is planning to recruit a primary challenger for Sen. Orrin Hatch’s seat in 2018.
CNN reports Bannon is expanding his efforts to recruit challengers for mainstream Republicans in next year’s elections, including a focus on Hatch.
Bannon has added Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer and Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch to the ranks of incumbents he plans to take on.
He had already put in motion efforts to oust Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker and Nevada Sen. Dean Heller. Bannon also plans to get involved in the primaries in West Virginia and Missouri, two of Republicans’ top opportunities to pick off Democratic-held seats next year.
And that’s “just a partial list,” a source familiar with Bannon’s plans said.
“Nobody’s safe,” the source said.
In case you don’t think this is serious, consider this. Bannon is the head of Breitbart.com, which had a front-page article on Sunday giving more details about the plan to run a slate of populist, anti-establishment candidates in 2018, including Hatch’s seat to create a “midterm tsunami” to oust entrenched incumbents. The slate has been dubbed “The League of Extraordinary Candidates.”
“We’re planning on building a broad anti-establishment coalition to replace the Republican Party of old with fresh new blood and fresh new ideas,” Andy Surabian, a senior adviser to the Great America Alliance and ex-White House aide, told Breitbart News.
Surabian worked alongside Stephen K. Bannon, the now former White House chief strategist, during their White House tenure and is now working with the Great America Alliance—a pro-Trump Super PAC run by ex-Ronald Reagan aide Ed Rollins that doubles as a fundraising powerhouse, having raised $30 million last year to help the president.
And conservatives, Breitbart News can confirm, are looking for challengers to incumbent Republicans in Nebraska and Utah, where Sens. Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) are for now seeking reelection.