Combat fighter pilot joins competitive Arizona Senate race

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51-year-old Martha McSally enters the Republican primary race that also features the infamous immigration hardliner former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Kelli Ward, the former state senator who lost her primary challenge a year ago against Arizona Sen.

McSally, who served 26 years in the USA military, also used her experience to hit out at the Democrats in the Senate in the video, saying, "after taking on terrorists in combat, the liberals in the Senate won't scare me one bit".

She said she would work to protect Arizona jobs, secure the border and protect the A-10 aircraft, the mainstay at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and the plane she flew as a combat pilot.

McSally, an Air Force Academy graduate and the first U.S. woman to fly combat missions in enemy territory, lost two bids for the House before narrowly defeating former U.S. Rep. Ron Barber for the seat in 2014.

It seems the main significance she now ascribes to that accomplishment is as a testament to her toughness - you know, the kind of toughness her new friend the president of the United States displays in taking on "PC politicians and their BS excuses". She wasn't done though, also explicitly tying herself to Trump.

"Let me just say, I speak a little salty behind closed doors at times as well and so I am not going to throw the first stone on using any language".

The district went for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race by 5 points, but Ms. McSally easily won her re-election by 14 points that same year. The video also features a clip of Trump praising McSally.

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Candidates include: former state Sen.

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers said Friday that Republicans are already in better shape than Democrats in Rep. Martha McSally's competitive district even without an incumbent.

McSally avoided her Republican opponents altogether on Friday, focusing instead on her military service while adding a jab at Sharia law - a reference to her fight against a military policy that required female soldiers in some Muslim-majority countries to wear robes over their service uniforms. "I guess there is a dispute as to what was actually said", she said.

McSally is widely seen as the national party's preferred nominee, much as incumbent Senator Luther Strange was backed by the party's establishment wing in the battle for the Republican nomination in a Senate special election in Alabama against hard-line evangelical Christian conservative Roy Moore. Jeff Flake, who announced his plan to retire citing political polarization in Washington.

The prevailing candidate is expected to face Democrat Rep. Kyrsten Sinema in the general election.

"She really has no place to raise money anymore", said Chuck Coughlin, a Republican consultant in Phoenix.

"Whoever escapes the GOP primary in August, they will be held accountable for touting their radical stripes at every opportunity and willingness to take stances on issues that are simply out of touch with Arizonan voters", state Democratic Party spokesman Drew Anderson said.

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