When Senator Jeff Flake decided not to run for re-election it led to the first Arizona Senate race without an incumbent in many years. That led to two candidates seeking the nomination from the Democrats, and three from the Republicans.
In our continuing coverage of this year's Senate race KGUN9 On Your Side's Craig Smith talks with Republican Candidate Martha McSally.
Martha McSally's in her second term representing Southern Arizona in the U.S. House. She says if elected to the Senate she'll be only the second Senator with a background of representing this area and its issues.
She says the border is not secure and Democrats are obstructing efforts to improve things.
“So we need to secure our border that includes a border wall. That includes technology that includes airborne assets. That includes agents giving them everything they need. Yesterday, (Wednesday Aug 7) I just received the endorsement of the Border Patrol Council which represents 15,000 agents; 4000 here in Arizona because they know I'm the one who's been partnering with them since I got to Congress to get our agents everything they need as they get out there every single day put their uniform on in order to keep us safe.”
We asked what she thinks the government should do when adults and children cross the border without authorization.
"We have to enforce the law. And I think we should keep families together. And in the past, that even the Obama administration was trying to do that until a court case basically said they couldn't do it for more than 20 days. So you shouldn't be putting law enforcement in a position where they have to choose between enforcing the law and keeping families together. These loopholes are ones that my legislation, that I worked on were closing long before this became an issue the media was paying any attention to. And we knew when we were watching that the cartels realized if you just have a kid with you, whether it's your kid or it's a kid you're trafficking, you're going to be able to be let go. Because of this loophole. We got to close the loophole. We've got to enforce the law and keep families together while they're processed and sent back basically."
McSally is a retired Air Force colonel, A-10 combat pilot and unit commander. She often cites her efforts to preserve the A-10, Davis-Monthan, and Fort Huachuca as critical to national defense and the local economy. She also cites military training helps her better understand foreign threats.
"And this administration is shaking things up doing things a little different. Insanity is doing things over and over again the same way and expecting a different result. He inherited the North Korea nuclear capability on the one-yard line. And now he has led a maximum pressure campaign using all elements of national power in order to crank up the pressure on them to hopefully bring them to their knees so we can start a path of peace."
To secure the Republican nomination and advance to the general election McSally has to defeat former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former State Senator Kelli Ward.
KGUN9 has been profiling all the Senate candidates. On KGUN9.com you can find profiles and extended interviews with all five Senate candidates.