McSally enters Arizona Senate race; GOP primary could test Trump's loyalties

Credit J. Tyler Franklin WFPL

Credit J. Tyler Franklin WFPL

Arizona Congresswoman Martha McSally announced early Friday that she will be running for U.S. Senate, joining the race to replace retiring GOP Sen. Lane FlakeGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat Sasse: RNC help for Roy Moore "doesn't make any sense" Sasse calls RNC decision to resume support for Moore "bad" and "sad" MORE (R-Ariz.).

McSally, who has always been expected to run and is the preferred candidate of Senate GOP officials, launched her campaign with a slick 83-second video she posted online. I'm a fighter pilot, and I talk like one.

"Like our president, I'm exhausted of PC politicians and their BS excuses", she said in the video. "I told Washington Republicans to grow a pair of ovaries and get the job done", McSally said in the video. "On national security, economic security and border security".

Arpaio is also been a leading figure in the "birther" conspiracy movement about former president Barack Obama, to which Trump once also belonged.

McSally is the second notable entrant to the race this week, following Sheriff Joe Arpaio's somewhat surprising Tuesday announcement that he, too, would be entering the primary.

Ward, who lost a 2016 GOP primary to Sen. Ward unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Arizona Senator John McCain in 2016. Dems demand Tillerson end State hiring freeze, consult with Congress MORE (R-Ariz.) and had been working to fashion herself the choice for Arizona's more conservative voters in this election.

"I absolutely refuse to bow down to Sharia law", McSally says, after a narrator discusses her successful fight against a USA military policy that required women to wear head-to-toe garb in Saudi Arabia. But now she says she was "standing up to Sharia law", a cause beloved of Muslim-hating Christian conservatives. "After eight years of fighting, I won my battle for the religious freedom of American servicewomen".

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And she also tries to tie herself tight to Trump, including a picture of her with the president and video of the president calling her "tough" in her announcement.

Trump posted a favorable tweet about Ward, after she visited his Mar-a-Lago, Florida, resort around Christmas, but he has not formally backed her. "Most people who like Trump generally gravitate toward Arpaio".

Trump pardoned Arpaio last August, setting off a firestorm of controversy.

She was first elected to the House of Representatives in November 2014 and was re-elected two years later.

Arpaio announced on Twitter that he is running "for one unwavering reason: to support the agenda and policies of President Donald Trump".

Securing the USA border and figuring out how to normalize the status of "the 10 million to 15 million undocumented immigrants" already here - "who, let's be honest, will not and should not be forcibly removed" - are the two biggest challenges, they add, and "when prioritizing the immigration problems we face, the case of 200,000 Salvadorans who accepted our invitation to live and work here legally would not even make a Top 10 list".

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