November 18, 2018

McSally, Sinema to face for Arizona Senate seat

30 August 2018, 03:00 | Rodolfo Wallace

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Rep. Ron De Santis is hoping an endorsement from President Trump can buoy him over establishment favorite Adam Putnam Florida's agriculture commissioner in the Republican gubernatorial primary

Democrats, though, are hopeful of capturing one of Arizona's Senate seats for the first time in almost a quarter century, saying the GOP is wounded after a divisive primary that saw the party's conservatives split between Mr. Arpaio and Ms. Ward.

Rep. Martha McSally was the projected victor Tuesday in Arizona's GOP Senate primary, in a race critical to the GOP's hopes of maintaining control of the Senate in November.

Lea Marquez Peterson won a four-way primary to become the Republican nominee for a congressional district seat being vacated by Arizona Rep. Martha McSally.

McSally is seen as a stronger general election candidate than either Ward or Arpaio, both hard-line conservatives. McSally stepped up her attacks against Sinema in the days leading up to primary voting, running an ad characterizing Sinema as a left-wing extremist and dredging up a photo of Sinema wearing a "pink tutu" at an anti-war rally.

Their race will pit a Republican who is known for praising Trump on Fox News against a Democrat who says he wants single-payer health care and Trump impeached just as the 2020 presidential race gets underway. Strategists here believe a brutal primary race makes it harder for McSally to pivot to a general election message. McSally drew criticism from McCain's family when she did not mention his name in the signing of the recent defense bill, which was named after McCain. Kelli Ward, who lost to McCain in a 2016 primary, and former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the 86-year-old immigration hawk once convicted of criminal contempt of court but pardoned by Trump.

She was then encouraged to run for the Tucson-area 2nd District to take on GOP incumbent Martha McSally.

Without wasting much time, Flake replied to Trump on Twitter, saying his claim about an attempted endorsement was false.

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Less than a day after the 25 August 2018 announcement that Senator John McCain of Arizona had died, reports were spreading online to the effect that the state's governor had already appointed former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to McCain's seat in the U.S. Senate. If she's victorious, Democrats could pick up an Arizona Senate seat for the first time since Dennis DiConcini left office in 1995. Republican Gov. Doug Ducey could also be vulnerable this fall.

Polls have shown a close race.

Trump's post-midnight tweet came after Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) was declared the victor in a hard-fought GOP primary to replace Flake, a frequent Trump critic who decided not to seek reelection this year amid lackluster polling numbers.

The GOP total came to nearly 35 percent of what Trump won in Florida in 2016.

Sinema, 42, won her primary with an overwhelming 80.5 percent of the vote. On the Democratic side, Former Rep. Gwen Graham and Philip Levine, the former mayor of Miami Beach, look to be the front runners for the Democratic nomination. It sets up the two states as key tests of the national political environment in November's midterm elections.

But, he added, "her record doesn't speak to her being a moderate Democrat and we can expect to hear a lot more about who is the real Kyrsten Sinema and what does she stand for".

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