Martha McSally wins GOP nomination for Arizona's US Senate seat

Grant Boone
August 29, 2018

Arizona Democrats are likely facing a tougher road in their effort to flip a Senate seat after Representative Martha McSally, the GOP Establishment favorite, won the Republican Senate primary on Tuesday.

Republicans are trying to defend the seat vacated by retiring GOP senator Jeff Flake, whose persistent criticism of Trump made him unpopular with conservative voters.

Primaries for governor on both sides of the aisle may remind voters why Florida is still the nation's ultimate political battleground.

Three Republicans are vying Tuesday to replace Sen. Trump has not endorsed in the race, but he has had praise for McSally. But his more moderate stance on immigration and his deciding vote a year ago against Trump's efforts to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law turned off many GOP voters.

Arpaio gained notoriety for his crackdowns on illegal immigration, which his agency continued in defiance of a court order that they amounted to racial profiling.

Many political observers predicted McSally would emerge as the nominee with Ward and Arpaio splitting up the state's most conservative voters.

The victor of the GOP primary is likely to face Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, who faces only token primary opposition.

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During the Republican primary, the candidates exchanged vicious insults while highlighting their closeness to the president. Ms. McSally held a moment of silence for Mr. McCain at her victory rally, before tearing into Ms. Sinema. McSally's district in particular is expected to be one of the most competitive House races in November's general election.

In a year where Senate Democrats are playing defense, the Arizona seat offers a rare pickup opportunity that could help them maintain the status quo of a narrowly divided Senate or even tip them into the majority. Jeff Flake in Arizona will produce a first this November no matter which party wins.

Gov. Rick Scott, a close political ally of Trump, is expected to coast through his primary bid for Senate, setting up a showdown with Democratic Sen. But Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, the favorite of the in-state GOP establishment, has done his best Trump impression, with broadsides against "fake news" and dubbing himself an "NRA sellout". So if DeSantis wins, it'll be another sign of Trump's stamp on the GOP.

But Ward dominated headlines leading up to the primary.

"There's a pink wave building alongside Florida's blue wave", Graham, who would be Florida's first female governor, told supporters in Sarasota Monday. 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. Bob Graham. But she still faces several primary challengers, including Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who has gotten progressive support from the likes of Vermont Sen.

"I do understand how many could have misconstrued my comments as insensitive, and for this I apologize", Ward said. "It's up to all of us to follow his lead of always putting country over party". "And I'm a gun owner". Democrats describe Edmondson's time in office as 'someone who fights for the little guy.' Former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and Tulsa businessman Kevin Stitt will face off in the Republican runoff Tuesday. Cornett is running on his government experience, while Stitt has campaigned as the outsider, self-funding his campaign and hitting Cornett for not supporting Trump enough.

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