Martha McSally Ready to 'Break Stereotypes' in Arizona

Image: Martha McSally Ready to 'Break Stereotypes' in Arizona

Wednesday, 26 Feb 2014 12:48 PM

By Lisa Barron

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Republicans are hoping Martha McSally, the first female fighter pilot to fly a combat mission and command a fighter squadron, can pull off another feat in November by winning Arizona's Second District away from Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' successor.

McSally was recruited by the National Republican Congressional Committee's Project GROW, a program to promote women and encourage them to run for elected office in competitive races, The New York Times reports.

"I think certainly having someone like me that comes in, I've been spending my whole life breaking stereotypes, and I think I would do it again," she told the newspaper.

McSally reportedly opposes abortion — with exceptions for rape, incest, and the welfare of the mother — and gay marriage, and she supports possible legalization for undocumented immigrants only after the enforcement of border security.

She believes she has broad appeal to voters.

"Even those I'm talking to who are of different philosophies from me can respect what I've done as a woman in a man's world, and I'm winning a number of them over who are very die-hard Democrats," she told the Times.

McSally, 47, ran against Democrat Rob Barber  — who worked for Giffords and survived the shooting that severely injured her — in 2012 and lost by less than 2,500 votes.

She has only one primary challenger, Shelly Kais, a former businesswoman, after Ed Martin, a former talk-radio host and horse-racing official, dropped out of the race last month, citing personal family challenges, the Huffington Post reported.

And the GOP is hoping McSally's military background will help stem attacks from Democrats and carry her all the way to Washington this time.

"They're stumped because they can't run their generic national playbook against a woman who's a combat veteran hero, so I don't think they really know how to deal with her," Daniel Scarpinato, the national press secretary at the National Republican Congressional Committee, told the Times.

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