GOP candidates dread Trump’s ‘radioactive persona’ overshadowing midterms after Mar-a-Lago search
Donald Trump shows passion while delivering a campaign rally speech at the Mohegan Sun Arena. (Evan El-Amin /

This week's search of Mar-a-Lago, and the revelations that will come about the evidence seized there, is putting Donald Trump back in the political spotlight in the closing months before the November midterms -- much to the chagrin of Republican candidates.

Several GOP nominees for Senate races mounted a defense of the former president after news of the search broke, but some candidates in swing states like North Carolina's Rep. Ted Budd and Pennsylvania's Dr. Mehmet Oz have tried to play things safer and simply asked for more explanation from the Department of Justice, reported Politico.

“The reintroducing of his radioactive persona and politics is coming at a very inopportune time for Republicans,” said Michael Brodkorb, former deputy chair of Minnesota's GOP. “Republicans want this election cycle to be about Joe Biden, inflation, jobs and the economy, and right now, it’s becoming more about Donald Trump, and just like a rock in the shoe that won’t go away, he’s back again, and it’s going to complicate an election cycle that was trending to be a very uncomplicated one for Republicans.”

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell has tried to play it safe, as well, calling for "a thorough and immediate explanation" of what led up to the search, which GOP strategists say can allow Republicans to indulge the base without alienating moderate voters.

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“If you’re a candidate who doesn’t want to engage in conspiracy theories, but you also don’t want to ignore it, it’s a pretty good place to land by saying, ‘We need some transparency here,’” said Kentucky-based GOP strategist Scott Jennings. “Donald Trump — like him or not — this is not a run-of-the-mill situation. Because half the American people are going to believe something politically motivated is afoot.”

The GOP nominees in Colorado and Washington, blue states that Republicans think they can win, haven't mentioned the Mar-a-Lago search at all, but some strategists think the FBI targeting Trump could boost fundraising -- a gamble Oz has already made by sending out an email asking for help to fight back against "NEFARIOUS CORRUPTION."

"The FBI, I’m not calling them political by any means, but what they do ends up having political ramifications," said Josh Novotney, a Pennsylvania-based GOP consultant, "and I think what happened with Mar-a-Lago, after seeing the reaction of a lot of conservatives, is it will probably motivate conservatives to have even more dislike for the administration.”

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