PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona state Sen. Kelli Ward plans to resign her seat to focus on her Republican primary challenge to U.S. Sen. John McCain.
Ward announced her decision Wednesday. She says she will step down Dec. 15 to devote her energy to defeating the five-term senator and 2008 Republican presidential nominee.
Ward is a physician from Lake Havasu City whose current district spans much of Mohave and all of La Paz counties.
She criticized McCain at Wednesday's news conference, saying he only followed the conservative values she embraces when he runs for re-election.
Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick is seeking the Democratic nomination for Senate next year.
Ward's seat will be filled with an appointee chosen by the Mohave County Board of Supervisors once she leaves office.