Arizona Republicans Pick Jesse Kelly Over Retired Air Force Pilot Martha McSally in AZ08 Race

Jesse Kelly won the special Republican election in Arizona’s 8th district last night over retired Air Force Pilot Martha McSally. Kelly will face leftist Ron Barber in the general election in a district that is larger than the state of Rhode Island.

Colonel Martha McSally, the first American woman to fly in combat since the 1991 lifting of the prohibition of women in combat, was a newcomer to politics and place second in the primary.
The AP reported:

Voters in southern Arizona’s 8th Congressional District on Tuesday night chose Republican Jesse Kelly to face former Gabrielle Giffords aide Ron Barber in a special election to replace the wounded ex-congresswoman.

Barber and Kelly will face off in the special general election in June, but the two opponents have already started the war of words.

Barber said Kelly has “the wrong priorities” for southern Arizona’s middle class families and seniors.

“He supports a radical tax plan that would increase taxes by 23 percent for middle class families. He’s said that Medicare should be eliminated and Social Security should be phased out,” Barber said. “I am running to rebuild southern Arizona’s middle class… I think now the race is engaged.”

Kelly said Barber is wrong and his focus is on cutting taxes, creating more jobs by building a stronger economy and lowering gas prices by opening up more federal lands to exploration.

He’s proposed a 10-percent flat tax and said “every single American should pay the exact same tax rate.”

“I think a majority of the voters like our plans,” Kelly said after his win Tuesday night.

Kelly had about 38 percent of the vote and the margin was enough for The Associated Press to declare him the winner in the race. He beat three other GOP candidates — state Sen. Frank Antenori, retired U.S. Air Force pilot and political newcomer Martha McSally, and Tucson businessman and longtime sports broadcaster Dave Sitton.

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