Arizona Congresswoman Martha McSally Enters Senate Race

Arpaio subject of controversial Trump pardon also promoted Obama birther conspiracy

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.

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.

McSally, who served 26 years in the USA military, also used her experience to hit out at the Democrats in the Senate in the video, saying, "after taking on terrorists in combat, the liberals in the Senate won't scare me one bit".

"Like our president, I'm exhausted of PC politicians and their BS excuses", McSally said in her hard-hitting announcement video, released Friday, that also highlighted her career as an Air Force fighter pilot and her eight-year fight to end a military policy requiring female soldiers in certain Muslim-majority countries to wear robes over their military uniforms.

"That's why I told Washington Republicans to grow a pair of ovaries and get the job done", she added.

The video also has McSally, a retired Air Force colonel, saying she "refused to bow down to Sharia law", a reference to her successful fight with the Department of Defense against having to wear Muslim robes while serving in Saudi Arabia.

"Martha's got a very good story to tell: A-10 fighter pilot, a female pilot in combat, trying to get immigration reform done", Coughlin said.

"I'm a fighter pilot, and I talk like one", McSally says in her announcement video.

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And though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell - the epitome of the Republican establishment who is hated by some on the far right - has called her one of his top recruits this election cycle, McSally gives D.C. Republicans a rhetorical pounding in the video.

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers said Friday that Republicans are already in better shape than Democrats in Rep. Martha McSally's competitive district even without an incumbent.

She refused to endorse in the 2016 presidential campaign. Over the past month, McSally has sent out photos of herself with the president and with first daughter Ivanka Trump....

"Let me just say, I speak a little salty behind closed doors at times as well and so I am not going to throw the first stone on using any language". "After eight years of fighting, I won my battle for the religious freedom of American servicewomen". The primary also includes former state Sen.

Nowicki is The Republic's national political reporter.

Nancy Pelosi has made it clear she wants a loyal foot soldier to replace McSally. Ward's campaign has called McSally "Jeff Flake 2.0" and noted that McSally refused to endorse Trump past year.

"Whoever escapes the primary in August, they will be held accountable for touting their radical stripes at every opportunity and willingness to take stances on issues that are simply out of touch with Arizonan voters", state Democratic Party spokesman Drew Anderson said.

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