Jeff Flake's Senate continues to grow as Rep. Martha McSally has officially joined the race.
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.
There's a similar twist the ad applies to McSally's status as the first woman to fly Air Force combat missions. "And look, I don't think we should be having any comments about, you know, specific countries personally, but the issue I think he is trying to get to is we've got to reform our immigration system".
The election will test the appeal of the Trump political playbook - which emphasizes the dangers of illegal immigration and demands border security above all else - in a state where almost 1 in 3 residents is Latino and roughly 1 million are eligible to vote, according to the Pew Research Center. "That's just not how leaders carry themselves", she said at the time. "As of today, I am a candidate for the office of United States senator from Arizona". And she concludes with a declaration that "after taking on terrorists in combat, I'm not afraid of the liberals in the Senate".More news: College Football National Championship Preview
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"Martha McSally is Jeff Flake 2.0 and part of the Washington establishment that has failed Arizona for years", said Ward campaign chair Ed Rollins.
Trump can be seen in McSally's announcement video praising her as "the real deal" and "tough".
McSally, who has always been expected to run and is the preferred candidate of Senate GOP officials, launched her campaign with a slick 83-second video she posted online. The video shows Trump at a previous event, flanked by military personnel, commending McSally.
"My friend, Martha McSally".
McSally also compared her own political style to the president, saying in her announcement video, "Like our president, I'm exhausted of PC politicians and their BS excuses". "Now, I am running for the Senate to fight the fights that must be won - on national security, economic security and border security".