Former Female Fighter Pilot Announces Arizona Senate Candidacy

politics
January 12, 2018Jan 12, 2018

House Homeland Security Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee Chairwoman Rep. Martha McSally announced on Friday that she'll be running for Senate, reported NBC

In her announcement, which was posted on her youtube channel, the Arizona Republican Congresswoman called on the national GOP to "grow a pair of ovaries," and she threw her hat into the ring to replace Jeff Flake.

Flake retired because he disagreed with President Trump's methods, but McSally aligned herself with President Trump. She made it clear in her video announcement that she's not an establishment Republican.

"Like our president, I'm tired of PC politicians and their BS excuses," McSally charged in in the video.

She continued. "I'm a fighter pilot and I talk like one. That's why I told Washington Republicans to grow a pair of ovaries and get the job done," she added. "Now, I am running for the Senate to fight the fights that must be won—on national security, economic security and border security."

McSally is a two-term congresswoman, and she already has the support of many GOP leaders in Arizona and Washington. McSally has an impressive resume. She's a retired Air Force colonel, and she was the first female fighter pilot to fly a combat mission.

McSally,51, plans to fly herself across Arizona on Friday to announce her candidacy before voters in Tucson, Phoenix and Prescott. She will have to win over voters who might not like her stances on immigration. Arizona has a population where nearly 1 in 3 residents are Hispanic with roughly 1 million are eligible to vote. Trump won Arizona in 2016 by less than 4 points.

McSally isn't the first Republican to announce their candidacy for the seat. Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was pardoned by President Trump himself last year after intentionally defying a judge's order to stop traffic patrols that targeted immigrants, also entered the race. They join former state Senator Kelli Ward, an outspoken Trump advocate who was an early favorite of now-disgraced former Trump adviser Steve Bannon.

However, despite her rhetoric in the video, some have dismissed McSally as a liberal Republican. In the 2016 election, she refused to endorse Trump.

"That's just not how leaders carry themselves," she said at the time.

However, since Trump's election, she has aligned herself with him. McSally co-sponsored an immigration plan released by House conservatives this week that would reduce legal immigration levels by 25 percent, block federal grants to "sanctuary cities," and restrict the number of relatives that immigrants already in the U.S. can bring here. However, the bill, which is unlikely to survive the GOP-controlled Senate, also provides temporary legal status for young immigrants enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.

In her video, McSally also leans into another part of her record. She references how she opposed Sharia law while in the military. For eight years, she fought against a military policy that required female soldiers in some Muslim-majority countries to wear robes over their service uniforms.

"I absolutely refused to bow down to Sharia law," she said. "After eight years of fighting, I won my battle for the religious freedom of American servicewomen."

She added, "After taking on terrorists in combat, the liberals in the Senate won't scare me one bit."

McSally is the only "truly viable candidate" so far, said Jay Heiler, a Republican who has been considering jumping into the race.

In other news, the world's richest man just gave away 33 million to fight Trump on DACA

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