Trump endorses McSally in her general election bid for US Senate
Aug 29, 2018, 7:13 AM | Updated: 7:14 am
PHOENIX — After easily winning her Republican primary race in Arizona for U.S. Senate, Rep. Martha McSally landed another coveted prize — an endorsement Wednesday from President Donald Trump in the general election.
Trump’s public support of McSally had become more pronounced in the past few weeks, allowing her campaign to use a clip of him mentioning her in a speech, and then singling her out in remarks he made when he signed the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act two weeks ago.
He initially tweeted out congratulations to McSally after polls had closed.
But he hadn’t formally endorsed her until the next morning.
Martha McSally is an extraordinary woman. She was a very talented fighter jet pilot and is now a highly respected member of Congress. She is Strong on Crime, the Border and our under siege 2nd Amendment. Loves our Military and our Vets. Has my total and complete Endorsement!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2018
McSally was beating former state Sen. Kelli Ward, 53 percent to 28 percent in unofficial results posted at the Arizona Secretary of State’s website.
Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was a distant third at around 19 percent.
McSally has spoken to the president about a post-primary campaign appearance in Arizona.
“He can uniquely motivate the base to get that enthusiasm up,” McSally said.
The retired Air Force fighter pilot had opened up the gap between herself and her rivals in the last several weeks in poll after poll of likely Republican voters.
She and Democratic rival, U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema have temporarily suspended their campaigns while the body of six-term U.S. Sen. John McCain lies in state at the Arizona Capitol.
McCain, 81, died of brain cancer Aug. 25.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.