Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) announced Friday that she is running for the Senate, jumping into a contest that could feature one of the year's most divisive and consequential Republican primaries and test President Trump's loyalties.
"I'm a fighter pilot, and I talk like one", McSally says in her announcement video.
"I told Washington Republicans to grow a pair of ovaries and get the job done", she says in the video, where she admits to "talking like a fighter pilot".
Rep. Martha McSally speaks at a rally, Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, in Tucson, Ariz.
The U.S. Air Force Academy graduate's official biography also notes that her squadron was awarded the Air Force Association David C. Schilling Award in 2006 for their work in Afghanistan.
She enters a dynamic Republican primary field that features a nationally celebrated immigration hardliner, 85-year-old former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was pardoned by Trump last year after defying a judge's order to stop traffic patrols that targeted immigrants. Sharia law is the religious law of Islam but has become a political punching bag for many conservatives. Jeff Flake in a state deeply divided by President Donald Trump's agenda. Martha McSally Shows Off Her Pilot Skills Her action-packed announcement video trades on numerous same themes she used in her House campaigns, stressing her status of the first American female to fly in combat, winning a fight to refuse to don Muslim garb while serving in the Middle East, and as a congresswoman working to protecting funding for the locally produced A-10 fighter jet. And she's finding her inner Trump.
While her formal announcement will come in a tour across the state Friday, her campaign released a video ahead of time showing her as someone not afraid to take on the establishment, Sharia law, and who will push for border security.
"The Arpaio entrance is going to pose a real conundrum for congresswoman McSally", said Stan Barnes, an Arizona Republican operative.
"McSally never endorsed Trump in 2016, and she called his comments about sexual assault "disgusting" and 'unacceptable.' McSally was also caught on tape this summer telling donors that Trump's behavior and Twitter habit made her life more hard". If elected, McSally said she'd be Trump's wingman in the Senate. Ward's campaign has called McSally "Jeff Flake 2.0" and noted that McSally refused to endorse Trump previous year.
McSally acknowledged she has some challenges in the state when it comes to name recognition but pointed out she was named the ninth most-effective member of Congress during her freshman term by the Center for Effective Lawmaking, based on getting bills introduced and passed.
The Aug. 28 Republican primary has the potential to be a proxy war between the national GOP factions represented by Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and former White House strategist Steve Bannon.
The Arizona Democratic Party highlighted what spokesman Drew Anderson called a "long, brutal and expensive" Republican civil war.