FILE – In this Sept. 10, 2019, file photo, Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., speaks at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
UPDATED 2:40 PM PT — Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Former astronaut Mark Kelly is facing a stiff battle for Arizona’s Senate seat, which was once held by late Republican Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and is now occupied by Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.).
In a new campaign ad, McSally drew parallels between Kelly and Democrat Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.). In the ad, Kelly’s stance on providing health care for all is directly aligned with that of Sanders, who is currently running to unseat President Trump.
Screengrab from Sen. Martha McSally’s official “Bernie Bro” campaign ad.
This is McSally’s second bid for the Senate after she lost in 2018 to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.). McSally was later appointed to the seat, which was previously held by late Sen. John McCain until his death in 2018.
She would need to win this year’s special election to keep the position. The McSally campaign recently released a video featuring several of her supporters, who pushed her to continue serving in the Senate.
“I’m inspired everyday by the incredible stories of resilience,” said Sen. McSally. “Often times, the very things that almost crush us are the things that can help strengthen us and propel us.”
FILE- In this Oct. 2, 2017, file photo former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., right, listens as her husband Mark Kelly, left, speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
McSally is a vocal supporter of President Trump. She has slammed Democrats by saying her constituents are “tired of their obstruction, their investigations and their impeachments.”
Kelly has been a champion of strict gun control measures after his wife, former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), was nearly killed in a mass shooting in 2011. After a lengthy recovery, Kelly and Giffords began lobbying for states to implement red flag laws and legislation banning the sale of AR-15 style rifles.
McSally is largely expected to take the Republican nomination while Kelly is speculated to be the Democrat front runner. Recent polls showed the pair in a virtual tie, but President Trump said he hopes to cut Kelly’s numbers. He is set to stump for McSally at his rally on Wednesday in Phoenix.
Tune in to One America News tonight at 9:00 p.m. EST/ 6:00 p.m. PST for full coverage of President Trump’s ‘Keep America Great’ rally in Phoenix!
President Donald Trump arrives at SNHU Arena for a campaign rally, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)