More on an­nounce­ment:

The Arizona Republic - - Front Page - Dan Now­icki and Ron­ald J. Hansen

McSally en­ters an al­ready-volatile race.

U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, a twoterm Repub­li­can from Tuc­son and for­mer Air Force com­bat pi­lot, on Fri­day of­fi­cially en­tered an al­ready volatile race for Ari­zona’s open U.S. Se­nate seat, set­ting the GOP field for the drive to the Aug. 28 pri­mary.

In a video posted to YouTube Fri­day morn­ing, McSally plays up her Air Force back­ground, in­clud­ing be­ing the first fe­male pi­lot to fight in com­bat, and pre­sents her­self as a mem­ber of Congress who gets things done in an age of grid­lock.

She also sig­nals her in­tent to align her­self with Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump — in tone and pol­icy — whose back­ing could be cru­cial in the Repub­li­can pri­mary.

“Like our pres­i­dent, I’m tired of PC politi­cians and their BS ex­cuses,” she says on the video. “I’m a fighter pi­lot and I talk like one. That’s why I told Washington Repub­li­cans to grow a pair of ovaries and get the job done. Now I’m run­ning for the Se­nate to fight the fights that must be won.”

Later Fri­day morn­ing, McSally, 51, kicked off cam­paign­ing with an ap­pear­ance at an air han­gar in her home­town of Tuc­son. There McSally again traced her mil­i­tary ca­reer, in­clud­ing her com­bat duty and chal­lenges to Pen­tagon rules re­gard­ing cloth­ing for women in the Mid­dle East.

“I don’t sit qui­etly and I don’t scare eas­ily,” she told the crowd.

“Ari­zona, you have my word. On any is­sue of taxes, stand­ing, reg­u­la­tion or se­cu­rity, I will al­ways be a voice and a vote for the work­ing peo­ple of Ari­zona I rep­re­sent.”

McSally’s Se­nate bid had been widely an­tic­i­pated from al­most the mo­ment on Oct. 24 that in­cum­bent U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., an­nounced he would re­tire rather than face re-elec­tion this year.

But the race’s dy­nam­ics took a turn ear­lier this week with for­mer Mari­copa County Sher­iff Joe Ar­paio’s an­nounce­ment that he also is seek­ing the Repub­li­can nom­i­na­tion.

The three-way pri­mary race pits McSally, the fa­vorite of the tra­di­tional GOP es­tab­lish­ment, against Ar­paio of Foun­tain Hills and Kelli Ward, a for­mer state sen­a­tor from Lake Havasu City, both of whom will be bat­tling to win the party’s con­ser­va­tive base.

With con­trol of the nar­rowly di­vided Se­nate at stake, the com­pe­ti­tion to re­place Flake could be­come one of the year’s na­tional mar­quee races.

At her Tuc­son event, a T-6 fighter plane used in World War II by the Women Air­force Ser­vice Pi­lots was po­si­tioned be­hind the stage. It was in­tended as a re­minder of McSally’s mil­i­tary em­pha­sis as well as her sec­ond bill in Congress that was signed into law. That 2016 bill re­stored the WASP’s right to be buried at Ar­ling­ton Na­tional Ceme­tery.

McSally planned to fly in the vin­tage T-6 to cam­paign events Fri­day at a han­gar in Phoenix and at the Yava­pai County Court­house in Prescott. The late for­mer five-term U.S. Sen. Barry Gold­wa­ter, R-Ariz., and six-term se­nior U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., both launched cam­paigns from the county’s his­toric court­house steps.

Like McCain and Flake in re­cent cam­paigns, McSally likely will have to run to the right in the pri­mary and, if she pre­vails, pivot to­ward the po­lit­i­cal cen­ter for what most ob­servers ex­pect would be a tough gen­eral-elec­tion cam­paign against U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, DAriz., the well-funded front-run­ner in the Demo­cratic Se­nate pri­mary.

Since Flake’s sur­prise re­tire­ment an­nounce­ment, McSally has sought to raise her pro­file by pil­ing up ap­pear­ances on Fox News and has posted on so­cial me­dia pictures of her­self with Trump, whom she avoided dis­cussing through­out the 2016 elec­tions and for months more af­ter he en­tered the White House.

Ear­lier this week, she was seated near Trump at his hour­long pub­lic dis­cus­sion with con­gres­sional Democrats and Repub­li­cans of im­mi­gra­tion and bor­der-se­cu­rity is­sues. On Wed­nes­day, she helped in­tro­duce a hard-line bor­der-se­cu­rity and im­mi­gra­tion bill that the White House said “would ac­com­plish the pres­i­dent’s core pri­or­i­ties for the Amer­i­can peo­ple.”

McSally’s an­nounce­ment video in­cluded a clip of Trump prais­ing his “friend” McSally as “the real deal” and “tough.”

“I’m part­ner­ing with the pres­i­dent,” she told re­porters. “I’m the one right now work­ing with the ad­min­is­tra­tion to get things done.”

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