In US Senate primary, Arizona Republicans compete over who loves Trump most

Frederick Owens
August 30, 2018

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 won the bruising, drawn-out Republican primary for Arizona's open US Senate seat on Tuesday, but did so by running hard to the right.

McSally, a former Air Force colonel who represents a Tucson-area swing district and was the first woman to fly a jet in combat, defeated former State Senator Kelli Ward and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

McSally has already indicated that her strategy in the general election will be to portray the moderate Sinema as an extremist.

The line, which drew wild applause from her supporters, is a reference to the searing campaign ad McSally launched against Sinema last week.

Sorry, @realDonaldTrump. I made no endorsement in this race.

All three have fought over who is closest to Trump and most enthusiastic about his agenda, highlighting the praise Trump has offered them over the past few years.

McSally voted for Trump's tax bill, declaring at the time that it would "put our economy into afterburner" and that opposition to that bill would disappear "when people see [more] money in their paychecks".

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After President Donald Trump's repeated squabbles with Arizona Sen.

Trump has not endorsed any of the three Republicans.

The primary happened in the shadow of the death of Arizona's senior senator, John McCain, whose body will lie at the Arizona Capitol on Wednesday. Despite competitive primaries in both parties for the Senate races, the GOP outdrew Democrats 456K/361K, at least so far.

Florida also has a pair of marquee statewide races that will be closely watched for signs of how the state might swing in the 2020 presidential election. The one-term O'Halleran was unopposed in his primary.

As in many GOP races across the country, candidates in the Republican primary competed to prove their loyalty to President Trump.

Trump reiterated his support for DeSantis on Twitter Monday, calling the congressman a "special person" who is "Strong on Crime, Borders and wants Low Taxes". The state voted for Trump by 3.5 percentage points in 2016, but Democrats are buoyed both by its rapidly diversifying electorate and by a national political environment favoring their candidates.

Ducey will now face off against his Democrat opponent, Arizona State University professor David Garcia, in November. Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum could become the state's first black governor, and either former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine or billionaire Jeff Greene could be the state's second Jewish governor. But Democrats were in a festive mood, as results showed that voter turnout, usually damp in mid-term elections, had edged up by around 5 per cent according to Ms Felecia Rotellini, the party's state chairman.

Democrats' path to controlling the House could go through Florida, and several key races there took shape on Tuesday. If Putnam manages to win, he'll head into the general election with his handling of Trump leaving him exposed to critics on his left and right.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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