Rep. Martha McSally continues to toy with the idea of running for the Senate seat being vacated by Senator Jeff Flake, but she has yet to make a public announcement. The Arizona Daily Star reports, US Rep. Martha McSally tells House colleagues she’s running for Senate:
U.S. Rep. Martha McSally has told Republican colleagues that she’s running for Sen. Jeff Flake’s open seat next year, meaning there will be someone new representing Southern Arizona’s hotly contested Congressional District 2.
The news didn’t come from McSally but instead from U.S. Rep. David Schweikert, a Republican colleague in Congressional District 6, who confirmed to reporters for several news outlets that the retired Air Force colonel said she was planning to enter the Senate race.
McSally could not be reached for comment and has not made a formal announcement about her plans. Calls to her campaign office, as well as to her congressional office in Tucson, went unreturned Tuesday.
Geezus, she’s still hiding in the chicken bunker. Come out, come out, and face your constituents, Martha.
Former state Sen. Kelli Ward and several other Republican candidates have already announced they were running for Flake’s seat in the GOP primary.
McSally is already facing resistance from President Trump supporters. Last week, the Great America Alliance PAC put out a digital ad (Amnesty Martha) and dedicated website amnestymartha.com that criticized McSally for “supporting amnesty for illegals.”
Ward challenged Sen. John McCain last year and lost, but Trump has offered support for her candidacy even though he did not endorse her. Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, however, endorsed Ward last month.
McSally will face fierce opposition from the radical right and the white nationalist Mercer-Bannon wing of the GOP. Club for Growth leads torching of possible Rep. Martha McSally run for Arizona Senate seat:
[T]he Club for Growth PAC along with Erick Erickson, Senate Conservatives Fund, Citizens United Political Victory Fund, FreedomWorks, ConservativeHQ.com, Eagle Forum, and Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund joined together to release the following statement:
Our groups, representing millions of conservatives, write to oppose Martha McSally as a potential Republican nominee for the Arizona Senate race to replace retiring Senator Jeff Flake. Martha McSally masquerades as a conservative on the campaign trail but time and time again, Representative McSally has abandoned conservative principles. When given the chance to lead, she instead chose to cower to special interests and the ways of Washington. No matter which issue, ranging from economic to social to immigration, Rep. McSally’s voting record would leave you guessing she is a liberal. For these reasons and more, we stand firmly together to oppose her candidacy.
Below are individual quotes from the conservative groups:
FreedomWorks for America: “Martha McSally is part of the problem. She has an anemic 61 percent on FreedomWorks PAC. If elected to the Senate, she will undermine the conservative agenda to expand freedom and limit the size of government.” – Adam Brandon, President
Senate Conservatives Fund: “Representative McSally has a very liberal voting record. She has supported budget-busting spending bills, more debt, corporate welfare, and taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood and amnesty. Voters in Arizona want to replace Senator Flake with a strong conservative who will fight to drain the swamp in Washington. Martha McSally will do the opposite.” – Ken Cuccinelli, President
Club for Growth PAC: “McSally has a 59 percent lifetime rating on the Club’s scorecard. Among other things, she actively fought full repeal of Obamacare. She voted to increase the debt ceiling twice. She voted to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, and she was even one of seven Republicans to support the Obama Phone program.” – David McIntosh, President
Erick Erickson, TheResurgent.com: “Representative McSally was one of the few Republicans who Barack Obama could routinely depend upon over the past few years. She helped him expand his government and gave him a blank check to raise the debt ceiling. We don’t need more people like that in the Senate.”
ConservativeHQ.com: “Martha McSally is a member of the RINO “Tuesday Group” that has obstructed President Trump’s agenda from within the House Republican Conference, she should not be sent to the Senate to take up where Jeff Flake left off.” – George Rasley
Eagle Forum: “Rep. Martha McSally is not an ally to the families that Eagle Forum represents. She supports drafting women into the military and giving them combat roles, voted for special protections for the LGBT community, and has allowed illegal immigrants to continue their stay on the taxpayer’s dime. For these reasons, we strongly oppose Representative McSally’s run for Senate.” – Anne Schlafly Cori, Chairman
Can’t you just feel the love? There is going to be a buttload of dark money from these right-wing organizations being spent in this GOP primary. It’s going to get ugly, folks.
Back to the Star:
U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat who represents Congressional District 9, announced before Flake decided not to run again that she was running for the Senate seat.
[A new statewide poll by Arizona High Ground shows] Sinema with a seven-point lead among would-be voters who were asked their preference in a hypothetical matchup in the general election between Ward and Sinema.
Sinema has about $4.2 million in her campaign chest and Ward has about $285,000, according to Federal Election Commission reports.
* * *
Democrats were quick to claim they pushed McSally out of the CD2 race, arguing McSally was facing an uphill battle to keep her seat. The CD2 race was already expected to be hotly contested next year with both national parties expecting to win the seat.
Herschel Fink, Arizona Democratic Party executive director, said McSally is abandoning her re-election campaign as congressional experts declared the CD2 race to be a toss-up between McSally and several Democratic challengers, including former U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick.
“Martha McSally quickly found out CD2 is no place for Trump flunkies,” said Fink.
Kirkpatrick campaign adviser Rodd McLeod notes that a poll from May had McSally losing by five points to Kirkpatrick in a hypothetical match-up.
“Martha McSally is smart enough to know she started down five points and wasn’t going to beat Ann Kirkpatrick,” said McLeod. “Tucson voters had wised up to McSally’s ‘make-believe moderate’ act, and Ann is a battle-tested champion for every Arizonan who has gotten a raw deal.”
* * *
With the apparent departure of McSally from the Republican side of the CD2 race, a number of former and current local elected officials and community leaders are being discussed as possible candidates.
They include first term state Rep. Todd Clodfelter [LD 10]; Lea Marquez-Peterson, president/CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Pima County Supervisors Ally Miller and Steve Christy; former state Reps. Gail Griffin [LD 14], Ethan Orr [LD 9] and David Gowan [LD 14, dropped out of 2016 congressional bid]; and former state Sen. Frank Antenori [previously lost a GOP primary for this congressional seat].
What, no Randy Graf and his “Rules of Golf“? C’mon!
Marquez-Peterson said she’s received many calls encouraging her to run. She is actively considering jumping in the CD2 race if McSally enters the Senate fray, talking the possibility over with her family, she said.
Marquez-Peterson’s statewide profile has grown along with the political fortunes of Gov. Doug Ducey. She was an early supporter of Ducey and has been a close adviser and ally during his governorship.
Marquez-Peterson is a GOP establishment toady; she has regularly served as a cochair to a number of GOP campaigns so they can claim Latino voter support (sorry, it was just her). This is not the droid that Trumpkins are looking for.
This would be Ally Miller, Pima County’s Queen of the Tea Party who regularly attracts controversy, most recently for expressing her support for the white nationalism of the Mercer-Bannon wing of the GOP after Charlottesville. Ally Miller: ‘I am WHITE – and proud of it! No apologies necessary’.
Auto dealer Jim Click, a major Republican donor and fundraiser, said he would support Marquez-Peterson if she joins the race. “I think she would be perfect for that district,” he said.
Click’s GOP establishment support may be the kiss of death for Marquez-Peterson in the current GOP primary environment, and for McSally as well.
Click also expressed enthusiasm for McSally’s possible run for Senate. “I sure hope she runs. I think she would be a great U.S. senator,” Click said. “If she gets in the race, I will be a big supporter.”
Christy said he was surprised to hear his name being discussed as a possible congressional candidate. He said he is open to meeting with supporters and listening to those who want him to run. With less than a year in office, he said it would be a tough decision.
“I love being a supervisor,” he said.
Don’t quit your day job, Dude.