Sen. McSally pauses campaign to focus on coronavirus response

Mar 18, 2020, 2:15 PM | Updated: 2:23 pm

Martha McSally...

U.S. Sen. Martha McSally of Arizona. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

PHOENIX – U.S. Sen. Martha McSally, who is locked in a tough battle to keep her seat, announced Wednesday she is suspending campaign activities for the next month to focus on the coronavirus crisis.

“I’ve directed my campaign to cease all television political advertising for at least the next 30 days,” the Arizona Republican said in a press release.

“I have also suspended all door to door canvassing and have instead encouraged those staffers to help the elderly and vulnerable in their communities.”

McSally said she was working on passing legislation to support the nation’s health care workers and lessen the economic blow of the growing coronavirus outbreak, which has killed about 100 people in the U.S. and disrupted society in unprecedented ways.

“I also need to set an example during this national emergency,” she said. “I am going to focus 100% of my time on public service and leave campaigning for another day.”

McSally, who is trailing likely Democratic challenger Mark Kelly in recent polling, called “for a national moratorium on ‘us vs. them’” for members of Congress and candidates to create a united front against COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

“We can all do our part to defeat the coronavirus,” she said. “Partisan sniping and political angling won’t get America back to normal any quicker, and in fact will probably make it worse.”

McSally was appointed to her seat by Gov. Doug Ducey in 2018 following the death of longtime Sen. John McCain.

In November, Arizona voters will choose the person to serve the final two years of McCain’s term.

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Sen. McSally pauses campaign to focus on coronavirus response