Martha McSally launches Senate campaign in heated Arizona contest

BREAKING: Martha McSally launches Senate campaign in heated GOP race

In Arizona, Republican Congresswoman Martha McSally announced her campaign for U.S. Senate to replace retiring Republican Senator Jeff Flake on Friday, according to a report from AP.

Though McSally forged a centrist reputation in her two terms representing the Tucson area's competitive 2nd Congressional District, the video shows her taking a sharp right turn as she prepares for a GOP primary race against former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpao of Fountain Hills and former state Sen.

Also running in the Republican primary is conservative state Senator Kelli Ward, like Arpaio a strong Trump supporter.

There's a similar twist the ad applies to McSally's status as the first woman to fly Air Force combat missions. "That's why I told Washington Republicans to grow a pair of ovaries and get the job done".

"I absolutely refuse to bow down to Sharia law", McSally says, after a narrator discusses her successful fight against a USA military policy that required women to wear head-to-toe garb in Saudi Arabia.

The video features a snippet of President Trump praising McSally in a Rose Garden ceremony, and McSally mentioning that, like the president, she's exhausted of politically correct politicians and their "B.S." excuses.

Later, she refused to condemn Trump's closed-door description of African countries as "shitholes".

BREAKING: Martha McSally launches Senate campaign in heated GOP race
Arizona GOP Rep. Martha McSally announces Senate bid

"As a member of the wildly unpopular Republican Congress, Mitch McConnell's handpicked candidate Rep. McSally has spent her career as a reliable vote for corporate special interests and Wall Street, not Arizona families", J.B. Poersch, the organization's president, said in a statement.

"The Arpaio entrance is going to pose a real conundrum for congresswoman McSally", said Stan Barnes, an Arizona Republican operative. If elected, McSally said she'd be Trump's wingman in the Senate. The question is whether Trump loyalists will see McSally's new embrace as genuine enough.

But avoids her Republican opponents altogether in her announcement video, focusing instead on her military service while adding a jab at Sharia law - a reference to her fight against a military policy that required female soldiers in some Muslim-majority countries to wear robes over their service uniforms. Sharia law is the religious law of Islam but has become a political punching bag for many conservatives. Her primary challengers include state Sen.

The victor will face off against likely Democratic opponent Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, who is a strong favorite to win her party's nomination.

McSally is widely seen as the national party's preferred nominee, much as incumbent Senator Luther Strange was backed by the party's establishment wing in the battle for the Republican nomination in a Senate special election in Alabama against hard-line evangelical Christian conservative Roy Moore.

"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.

"The Arizona Republican primary will be nasty, expensive and very long".

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