A Muslim candidate for the U.S. Senate in Arizona is being bombarded on her Facebook page by hateful attacks on her faith.
Now Democrat Deedra Abboud is getting support from what might seem to be an unlikely place: Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, the man whose job she wants.
Abboud, an attorney and activist, is believed to be the first Muslim statewide candidate in Arizona history.
Her campaign emailed reporters Tuesday afternoon with an alert that she was being "cyber bullied" online.
An Abboud campaign video on Facebook, with 206,000 views, has been the target of dozens of vicious comments:
"BS. They want to make USA Into another Muslim country. Thanks to Obama and his BS integrationist policies." "No terrorists in the senate." "Send her back."
On Tuesday night, Flake posted on Twitter:
This is not the first time Flake has reached out to Muslims in Arizona.
In December 2015, as then-candidate Donald Trump was inflaming rallies with harsh rhetoric toward Muslims, Flake and his family attended the Friday noon service at a Scottsdale mosque.
"I'll bet you never thought you'd see a Mormon speaking in a mosque," he told the worshipers. "This is a surprise to me, too."
Abboud is the only announced candidate so far in the Democratic field for the 2018 primary.
She responded to Flake's tweet late Tuesday:
Thank you @JeffFlake for leadership in rejecting behavior that doesn't reflect our American values. AZ's amazing people deserve more of this
Flake faces a primary challenge on the right from former State Sen. Kelli Ward.
President Trump and his allies have targeted Flake, who was candidate Trump's most vocal opponent among congressional Republicans. The White House is recruiting a Flake opponent in the Republican primary.
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