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Rep. Martha McSally points to economy, military as GOP wins

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PHOENIX — Midterm election talk of seats flipping from Republican to Democratic has some in the GOP a little worried. U.S. Rep. Martha McSally of Arizona is more hopeful.

“Historically, the party that’s in power does lose seats in the midterms, it’s part of how the country goes. … but our plan is to defy that,” McSally told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Tuesday.

“Look at what’s happening to the economy. Our economy is on fire … We have more jobs open than people looking for work.

“We’ve got a great message while the Democrats want to abolish ICE.”

McSally is running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Republican Jeff Flake, who will retire at the end of his term in January.

She has led primary polling against former state Sen. Kelli Ward and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio for months.

An OH/Predictive Insights/ABC15 poll released two weeks ago showed McSally led her rivals with 35 percent support from likely voters. Ward had 27 percent and Arpaio 15 percent.

The primary will be held Aug. 28; the general election will follow Nov. 6.

“The country is going in the right direction. The question is: Are you better off than you were two years ago? Everyone is saying yes,” McSally said.

President Donald Trump brought up McSally on Monday, during a visit to Fort Drum, New York, where he signed the $716 billion John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act.

McSally, who also made the trip, said, “It was an absolute honor to be there.”

While mentioning McSally, who was the Air Force’s first female fighter pilot, Trump did not say anything about McCain, the U.S. senator for Arizona and Navy veteran for whom the bill was named.

Trump and McCain have a very public history of quarreling and criticizing one another.

“It’s unbelievable to me that the main headline is on this issue about what the president said or didn’t say,” McSally said.

“It’s turned … this important move to support our military and our troops into a controversy. It’s frustrating.”

The measure included $184 million to keep the A-10s at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson and provided $52 million in funding for construction projects at two Air Force bases and one National Guard camp in Arizona.

“We fought really hard to make sure our troops got this first biggest pay raise in 10 years,” she said. “The investment … was extraordinary.”

A bipartisan Senate passed the bill 85-10 in June.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Arizona's Morning News