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Sen. Martha McSally, left, and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona
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Kyrsten Sinema takes aim at Martha McSally in ad supporting Mark Kelly

Sen. Martha McSally, left, and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. (AP Photos/Matt York)

PHOENIX – If there was any doubt, U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona is making it clear she’d rather be serving alongside fellow Democrat Mark Kelly than Republican Sen. Martha McSally.

In a scathing ad released over the weekend in support of the challenger, Sinema accused McSally of “false attacks” that are “desperate and over the top.”

The video came out Saturday, three days before Arizona’s U.S. Senate candidates square off Tuesday in their only scheduled debate.

The McSally camp called the ad “politics as usual — Democrats support Democrats” and pointed out that the Republican and Sinema have teamed up on multiple issues.

Although they’ve been representing Arizona together, Sinema and McSally went head to head in an often-heated 2018 Senate race.

The Democrat won the seat vacated by Republican Jeff Flake, who chose not to seek reelection. But later that year, Gov. Doug Ducey appointed McSally to hold down the late John McCain’s seat.

The winner of the Nov. 3 special election will serve the remainder of McCain’s term, which runs through 2022.

“Arizonans know that Martha McSally will say anything to get elected,” Sinema says in a video Kelly posted to social media Saturday. “Her false attacks against me were desperate and over the top.

“Now she’s doing the same to Mark Kelly. But Martha’s worst lies are the ones about her own record.”

Caroline Anderegg, the McSally campaign’s communications director, defended the Republican’s record.

“What was left out of this ad is that Sen. Sinema cosponsored more than 30 of Sen. McSally’s bills and they’ve been co-sponsors or co-signers of more than 130 bills and letters since they’ve been in the Senate,” she told KTAR News 92.3 FM in an email.

“It’s unfortunate that campaigns bring out the worst political attacks, but Sen. McSally is ranked the sixth-most bipartisan senator because of her continued commitment to working with anyone to get things done for Arizonans.”

A new poll released Monday by Siena College/The New York Times Upshot showed Kelly leading McSally by 11 percentage points.

While the margins have fluctuated between 1 and 17 points, McSally has trailed in every poll since the start of September, according to tracking by

The race, which has generated huge fundraising numbers, has drawn plenty of national attention as a key piece in the battle for control of the Senate.

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