Arizona GOP U.S. Senate
Primary Battle Rages
Polarizing Figures Lead The Field In The U.S. Senate Republican Primary But Trump’s Praise Of Martha McSally May Lead To A Victory For The Congresswoman
Kelli Ward (left), Joe Arpaio (center) and Martha McSally (right. Image of Kelli Ward and Joe Arpaio by Gage Skidmore and used under a Creative Commons License.
By Joey Hancock
Modern Times Magazine
Aug. 27, 2018 — The Arizona US Senate primary is heating up as Joe Arpaio and Kelli Ward hit the campaign trail but President Trump’s praise of Martha McSally in the media may be just enough to push her over the edge on election to win the Republican nomination.
Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, U.S. Rep. Martha McSally and former Arizona state Sen. Kelli Ward are in a three-way battle for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat which is being vacated by Sen. Jeff Flake.
Currently, McSally has the support of party leaders and donors. She recently received an endorsement from the National Border Patrol Council and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
McSally has made her military background a key component in her campaign, as she was the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat.
As the U.S. representative for the 2nd District, McSally has focused on many issues including, securing the border, education and opportunity, energy, healthcare, jobs, veterans and foreign affairs.
McSally has been focusing on the issues surrounding the border recently launching an advertisement on border security with the Border Ranchers for McSally Coalition.
“Martha McSally is working with President Trump to build the wall, secure the border and protect Arizonans,” according to a press release. “Martha McSally and President Trump are fighting to stop illegal immigration and the vicious cartels that traffic drugs across our border.”
Chair of Border Ranchers for McSally, John Ladd, said McSally understands them.
“Violent gangs and cartels are smuggling drugs through my land, and the federal government is doing nothing to stop it,” Ladd said in a press release. “Our government doesn’t have a barrier in place that will keep them out and protect our border. This impacts my fellow ranchers and me every single day. Martha McSally gets it. She’s been working for us for over three years now to get us what we need and advocate for us in Washington. I know she’ll do the same as Arizona’s next United States Senator.”
Joe Arpaio has a strong conservative base of followers and has been vehement in his support for Trump. Trump recently pardoned Arpaio in 2017, after he was convicted of criminal contempt for refusing to stop discriminatory conduct in the sheriff’s office, according to Ballotpedia.
Arpaio is running his campaign on six key issues including border security, national security, taxes and regulations, national debt, the Second Amendment and federal judges.
Arpaio’s website reads, “We cannot sit idly by while our nation faces unprecedented challenges. President Trump needs my help in the Senate.”
Arpaio, speaking on border security has said that the amount of drugs crossing the border has been lost in the arguments.
“Securing our border is an imperative and as your Senator I’ll fight tooth and nail to make sure we have the resources to get the job done,” according to Arpaio’s website. “Whether it’s physical barriers, more manpower or more technology, we can and must do better to secure our country.”
Arpaio is leaning on his 24 years of experience as sheriff of Maricopa County to show he will be tough on border issues.
“I saw first hand the dangers of illegal immigration and an open border,” according to Arpaio’s website. “In my jails alone we saw criminal illegal immigrants come through our jails, handed over to ICE for deportation only to return again months later. This happened at the alarming rate of 35 percent. Meaning, more than a third of criminal illegal immigrants we processed through our jails returned to our jail again after committing another crime. This is simply unacceptable.”
Kelli Ward, a doctor, was elected to the state Senate in 2012, where she served two terms. While in office, Ward continued to practice emergency medicine in Lake Havasu City and Kingman, AZ.
Ward ran against Sen. John McCain in the 2015 election. She lost, but held McCain to his lowest primary total ever at 51 percent, according to Ward’s website.
Ward announced her candidacy for U.S. Senate in 2016 and is running on issues including, securing the border, repealing Obamacare, growing the economy and fixing the Veterans Affairs system.
On border security, “Dr. Ward believes that national security begins with border security,” according to her website. “She holds Congress and the past three administrations directly responsible for their unwillingness to secure the border, which was a failure on their part to fulfill the primary function of government – to protect its citizens.”
Illegal immigration is one of Ward’s top concerns during the election.
“We have to secure the border and we have to build the wall (as) illegal immigration affects every aspect of our lives,” Ward said at a July 17 Payson Tea Party meeting, according to the Payson Roundup.
Ward is aligned with Trump’s zero-tolerance immigration policy and has criticized McSally’s co-sponsorship of an immigration measure that would have allowed a pathway to citizenship for individuals brought into the U.S. illegally as minors, according to Ballotpedia.
This Senate seat has been held by a Republican for the past two decades and is a target for the Democratic party. The Hill named this seat as one of the most likely to flip to the Democrat side in 2018, stating, “Both parties think their leading candidates can win in Arizona. Reps. Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema (D) are strong fundraisers who know how to win tough fights… Sinema is a virtual lock for the Democratic nomination, but McSally has a rockier path in the GOP primary.”
Not only could Arpaio and Wardmean steer the contest to the right, “Arizona’s August primary is held late in the cycle, giving the GOP nominee just 10 weeks to recover from a potentially rough primary,” The Hill reports.
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