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Steve Bannon

Meet five potential Senate candidates backed by Steve Bannon


War. What is is good for? If you ask Steve Bannon, it's the only way to root out the Republican establishment in Washington. The former White House Chief Strategist has declared war against GOP incumbents, promising to throw his support behind Republican challengers who pledge to help oust Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and vote to end the legislative filibuster.

"This is not my war. This is our war. And y'all didn't start it. The establishment started it," Bannon said during a speech at the Values Voter Summit in Washington D.C. this month.

Last week, President Trump told reporters he sympathizes with Bannon and shares his frustration with the leadership in the Senate.

"There are some Republicans, frankly, that should be ashamed of themselves," Trump told reporters during a Cabinet meeting. "So, I can understand fully how Steve Bannon feels."

It's unclear how much sway Bannon actually has over the midterm elections. Many of the cadidates he is supporting, or said to be backing, have run for office before and lost. However, Bannon threw his weight behind Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate primary race, despite the fact that Trump endorsed incumbent Sen. Luther Strange. In the end, Moore won the primary. That election has got people talking about the Bannon-effect.

Here are some candidates, and potential challengers Bannon is backing.

1. Kelli Ward

Kelli Ward
In this Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016 photo, former Arizona Republican state Sen. Kelli Ward, left, who is running against Sen. John McCain in the Arizona Republican primary, talks to a supporter of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a campaign rally, in Phoenix. The Arizona primary election is Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Bannon endorsed Ward, who is challenging Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, last week. Ward, a physician, is a former state senator. She campaigned against Sen. John McCain in 2016 and lost.

Ward came under fire recently after she called for McCain to leave office immediately after he was diagnosed with brain cancer in July.

"I hope that Senator McCain is going to look long and hard at this, that his family and his advisers are going to look at this, and they're going to advise him to step away as quickly as possible. so that the business of the country and the business of Arizona being represented at the federal level can move forward," she said in a radio interview.

Ward's campaign has already raised over $1 million, including over $300,000 in donations from Robert Mercer, a Trump supporter whose family is close with Bannon.

2. Danny Tarkanian

Danny Tarkanian
FILE - In this April 26, 2016 file photo, Danny Tarkanian participates in a Republican debate for Nevada's 3rd Congressional District in Henderson, Nev. Tarkanian, who narrowly lost the most expensive congressional race in the nation, is suing the Democrat Jacky Rosen who won, claiming that he was defamed in the final weeks of the campaign. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

The Nevada attorney and businessman has run for office at the state and federal level in Nevada multiple times and lost. He's running to unseat moderate GOP Sen. Dean Heller, who voted against the so-called "skinny repeal" of the Affordable Care Act.

3. Erik Prince

Erik Prince
FILE - In this July 2008 file photo, Erik Prince, founder and CEO of then Blackwater Worldwide, now called Xe Services, speaks at the company's offices in Moyock, N.C. An investment group with ties to the founder of the company formerly known as Blackwater has bought the security firm, which was heavily criticized for its contractors' actions in Iraq. A statement Friday, Dec. 17, 2010 from USTC Holdings said the acquisition of the company now called Xe Services includes its training facility in North Carolina. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The statement says founder Erik Prince will no longer have an equity stake and no longer be involved in Xe's management or operations. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

The founder of controversial security contractor Blackwater has ruled out a Senate campaign in Michigan, but is considering launching one in Wyoming against Sen. John Barrasso.

He's a former Navy SEAL and also the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

4. Chris McDaniel

Chris McDaniel
State Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Ellisville, looks at his supporters prior to speaking at a rally on his behalf in Flowood, Miss., Monday, June 23, 2014. McDaniel is in a runoff against long-time U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran for the GOP nomination for senate. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Politicos have been chattering about a possible Senate challenge from McDaniel, a Mississippi state senator and former host of "The Right Side Radio Show."

McDaniel, a Tea Party member, nearly beat incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran in the 2014 primary. In his concession speech, he suggested he lost because of voter fraud.

He's reportedly weighing a bid against Sen. John Wicker, and has had meetings with Bannon and the Mercers.

5. Kid Rock

Kid Rock
Rapper and singer Kid Rock performs at Stagecoach Music Festival in Indio, Calif. on Sunday, April 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg)

This is not a joke, although many people wish it was. Kid Rock, a.k.a. Robert Ritchie has been teasing a senate run for several months, and Bannon has reportedly been speaking with Ritchie regularly.

Ritchie is considering launching a campaign to unseat Michigan Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

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