http://www.pressreader.com/usa/the-arizona-republic/20160330/281590944701480

The Arizona Republic

Roger Stone, the veteran Republican political consultant who has battled with Sen. Ted Cruz over a National Enquirer article alleging that Cruz cheated on his wife with five women, apparently is working for Arizona U.S. Senate Republican challenger Kelli Ward.

Stone, a former adviser to Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, tweeted last week that he would be working for Ward, the former state senator from Lake Havasu City who is challenging incumbent U.S. Sen. John McCain, RAriz., in the Aug. 30 primary.

Stone's tweet, which Ward's Twitter account retweeted, said: "I will be working for @kelliwardaz - GOP Primary- AugustKiss @JohnMcCain goodbye !"

Neither Stone nor Ward or her campaign immediately responded to Arizona Republic requests for clarification about Stone's role with the Arizona campaign.

Stone, whose long career dates to President Richard Nixon's era, most recently has been associated with Trump, although they no longer have official ties.

Cruz, Trump's chief GOP rival remaining in the presidential race, singled Stone out for criticism in his response to the National Enquirer story, which he has dismissed as a smear.

"It is a story that quoted one source on the record, Roger Stone, Donald Trump's chief political adviser," Cruz, R-Texas, said at March 25 news conference. "Let me be clear: this National Enquirer story is garbage. It is complete and utter lies. It is a tabloid smear, and it is a smear that has come from Donald Trump and his henchmen."

Cruz also claimed that Trump's "henchman" Stone had been foreshadowing such an attack. "And I would note that Mr. Stone is man who has 50 years of dirty tricks behind him. He's a man for whom a term was coined for copulating with a rodent. Well, let me be clear: Donald Trump may be a rat but I have no desire to copulate with him."

Stone responded Sunday in a radio interview in which he acknowledged his "brand" for "roughand-tumble politics," but denied planting the Cruz story.

"He (Cruz) specifically called me a henchman. Henchmen get paid — I'm not paid anything by the Trump campaign; so therefore, by definition, I can't be a henchman," Stone said on New Jersey's AM 970 The Answer. "He also went on to say that I copulate with rodents. Knowing what a couple of these women look like, I actually think he's the one who's been copulating with rodents."

Stone also is the author of several books, including, "Jeb! and the Bush Crime Family: The Inside Story of an American Dynasty," "The Clintons' War on Women" and "The Man Who Killed Kennedy:

The Case Against LBJ."

Nowicki is The Republic's national political reporter.