Steve Bannon plans on several Senate primary challenges


Steve Bannon, with financial backing of Robert Mercer, has promised to challenge every single incumbent GOP senator up for re-election in 2018 — except Ted Cruz.

Bannon plans to support as many as 15 Republican Senate candidates in 2018, including several challengers to incumbents, the people said. He’ll support only candidates who agree to two conditions: They will vote against McConnell as majority leader, and they will vote to end senators’ ability to block legislation by filibustering.

A spokesman for McConnell referred questions to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and to Josh Holmes, who managed McConnell’s 2014 re-election campaign. Neither immediately responded to a request for comment.

Bannon looks to knock off some of McConnell’s most reliable supporters in the Senate. They include Nevada’s Dean Heller, Nebraska’s Deb Fischer, Wyoming’s John Barrasso, and Utah’s Orrin Hatch, should he seek re-election. Bannon is working with Erik Prince, founder of the notorious mercenary company Blackwater, who is eyeing a run against Barrasso, the people said. The New York Times reported on Prince’s interest in the race on Sunday.