WASHINGTON – Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) announced Friday morning that she will run for the Senate seat incumbent Sen. Jeff Flake (R) has said he will vacate next January.
McSally, a retired Air Force colonel, made the announcement in a YouTube video that highlighted her military experience and conservative credentials. In 1993 McSally became the first female combat pilot to fly in hostile territory when she underwent a mission to enforce the no-fly zone in Iraq.
She was first elected to the House of Representatives in November 2014 and was re-elected two years later.
McSally has the backing of the Republican establishment and is expected to formally announce her candidacy later today in Arizona. Her primary challengers include state Sen. Kelli Ward and notorious former Maricopa County, Ariz. Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
The primary is expected to become a contest over which candidate is most loyal to President Donald Trump and who is toughest on border security.
The prevailing candidate is expected to face Democrat Rep. Kyrsten Sinema in the general election.