Ariz. GOP Senate hopeful touts her backing of Trump, border security

Arizona Senate candidate Kelli Ward (R) unveiled her latest digital ad on Monday where she vows to work with President Trump to “put Arizona and America first.”

Ward, a former state senator, is running in Arizona’s competitive Republican primary on Aug. 28 in the race to replace retiring Sen. Jeff Flake (R). She has positioned herself as a fervent Trump supporter and immigration hard-liner.

The ad, which was shared first with The Hill, features Ward calling for lowering taxes, reducing spending and strengthening border security. With a stethoscope around her neck, she also highlights her role as a physician.

“As a doctor, I’m always committed to putting my patients first. But too many politicians today put themselves first instead,” Ward says in the ad.

“Just as I put my patients first, I’ll work with President Trump to put Arizona and America first.”

Ward is facing a tough three-candidate primary against Rep. Martha McSally, who’s considered an establishment favorite, and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who shares some of Ward's conservative base.

Ward has taken direct aim at McSally, painting her for being soft on immigration and dubbing her "McAmnesty."

McSally and her team have pushed back on Ward's attacks. They argue McSally has always been a fierce advocate for border security and highlighted her role in crafting a more conservative immigration bill sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.).

But the House rejected that bill in late June as well as a compromise immigration bill brokered by GOP leaders.

A public primary poll conducted by Phoenix-based OH Predictive Insights in mid-June found McSally with a 14-point lead over Ward. But another poll released a week later from NBC News–Marist found a much tighter GOP primary, with McSally leading Ward by only 2 points.

As the Republicans battle it out for the nomination, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) is expected to cruise to the Democratic nomination without a bruising primary.

According to the same NBC News–Marist poll, Sinema leads all three Republican candidates by double-digit margins in head-to-head match-ups.

Democrats are feeling emboldened about their chances in Arizona despite Trump winning the state by 4 points in 2016. But the party hasn’t won a Senate seat in Arizona since 1988.

Nabbing a seat in Arizona could help Democrats in their attempt to hold ground or flip the Senate. They are playing defense with 10 Senators up for reelection in states Trump won in 2016.
Source: The Hill


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