EXCLUSIVE: Kelli Ward Discusses Leaving AZ Senate to Challenge John McCain Statewide

Dr. Kelli Ward

It’ll be a David versus Goliath primary showdown between Arizona State Senator Kelli Ward and five-term incumbent John McCain. Ward recently upped the ante by announcing that as of December 15 she will step down from her position in the Arizona legislature.

Ward spoke exclusively with Breitbart News explaining that she made the decision to depart the state legislature in the interest of serving her constituents:

I’ve seen too many people take on a run like this neglect the people they vowed to serve. I’ve seen John McCain do this. The people need full time representation in Phoenix. And these last few months have shown me that there’s no way I could serve the people and focus well on this intense campaign.

This is not about a title or an office for me. If it were I would just stay in the Arizona State Senate. People are very happy with what I have delivered to them during my time in the Senate. But I think it’s time for someone to step up and change the status quo in Washington D.C. and I’m willing to take on this challenge for the Senate. It’s going to take a lot of time and energy to do this.

Ward is also a practicing medical doctor. She previously told Breitbart News that it was the overwhelming negative effects of Obamacare (The Affordable Care Act) that first drove her to run for elected office.

I still work shifts. My next shift is Christmas Day and the next on is New Years Eve. What’s great is that I get to work with my husband over these holidays. There’s a lot of issues that happen around that time.

Over half a million dollars – an amount rivaled in recent history only by U.S. Senator Ted Cruz – that’s how much Ward raised in her first quarter of fundraising in her campaign to replace McCain in the U.S. Senate. But how is she doing in these tough-for-political-fundraising holiday months?

Fundraising is still going well. We’re just shy of where we’d like to be now, but I believe in the next few weeks we can get over our mark as well.

Ward on where she’s at in campaigning:

December is not the prime campaign month because people are out and celebrating with family. We’re putting the infrastructure in so that we can get running in January. We have a website update coming up in the next week. We have an app for Apple and Android coming up. We’re getting all our professional staff in place. We have a huge number of volunteers. We have a ton of volunteers. We’re looking for our physical campaign office. As we do get that professional staff in we need a place for people to make calls and come in and pick up t-shirts and campaign materials, but we didn’t want to spend a lot of money on office space until we were ready. We are looking forward to having that space as a center to run the campaign with Team Ward on from the primary and into the General.

We asked the Arizona Senator what she thought of President Obama’s Sunday, December 7 statement to the country that came in response to the December 2 terror attack in San Bernardino, California.

It didn’t seem as though it was a speech from the Oval office to calm the fears of the people of the United States. It seemed political. He didn’t offer a lot of new solutions to defeat ISIS. However disappointment and getting upset over what he says is something I’ve gotten used to over the last seven years.

Ward moved to talk about what needs to be done in light of the ongoing threat to national security.

What people want is elected officials to get to D.C. and represent them.

Border security is national security and John McCain wants an open border and amnesty. And he wants to take more Syrian refugees. We have seen now how a woman (San Bernardino attacker Tashfeen Malik who came to the U.S. through the K-1 “fiancé” visa program) who was vetted, came in and performed a horrific act on people who six months earlier threw a baby shower for her.

We’ve also got to stop illegal immigration and we have to take a hard look at the legal immigration process, especially from areas under ISIS control.

Why is she stepping down on Dec. 15?

I wanted to give the process for filling my seat a chance to work out so that Mohave County will have a chance to remain well represented in the Arizona Senate. The elected precinct committeemen will select three and those three that will go to the county board of supervisors and I believe they will be meeting December 26.

I’m the chair of the Education Committee and I wanted them to have the chance to get someone who can hit the ground running. I’m on Appropriations Committee as well so we need someone who is tight on the purse strings — that is something that I have become known for.

I also sit on the Public Safety, Military and Technology Committee and I wanted to make sure that had time to find someone who can continue to fight for our veterans in my place.

And how does Dr. Ward see the campaign going as she moves forward?

I feel great because we’ve got grassroots, we’ve got fundraising we’ve got polling and I’m offering up new bold fresh ideas, that package is what the consumer, the voter is looking for.

The [campaign] RV is looking great – we’ve been getting lots of honks in response to the “She’s got my vote, honk if she’s got yours” bumper sticker. Soon people will be able to sign the RV.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana


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