Doug McKee, the chairman of KelliPAC, announced Tuesday exclusively through Breitbart News that they will back Sen. Martha McSally in her Senate special election campaign in 2020.
McKee announced in a press release first obtained by Breitbart News that KelliPAC, the super PAC established to aid Dr. Kelli Ward’s Senate candidacy, will back McSally during her Senate special election campaign.
McKee stated that KelliPAC “intends to support President Trump’s choice for the US Senate by running a support campaign for incumbent Senator Martha McSally.”
KelliPAC’s backing of Sen. McSally’s reelection efforts serves as an important bulwark against Democrats’ efforts to turn the seat blue during the 2020 election. The Washington Post labeled Sen. McSally’s race one of the most contentious Senate elections during the 2020 cycle.
Senate Republicans hold a 53-seat majority in Congress’s upper chamber, and keeping Sen. McSally’s seat remains a crucial part of the GOP’s efforts to maintain their majority.
McSally faces a formidable opponent in Mark Kelly, a gun control advocate, husband to former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ), and Democrat challenger of McSally. A recent poll from Predictive Insights found that Kelly led McSally by five points, just slightly beating the survey’s four-point margin of error.
Along with supporting McSally, KelliPAC plans to help defeat the “liberal incumbents” in congressional districts, 1,2,3,7, and 9, while supporting Reps. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), David Schweikert (R-AZ), Debbie Lesko (R-AZ), and Andy Biggs (R-AZ), the House Freedom Caucus chairman.
McKee emphasized that KelliPAC will be “stepping up to help Federal Republican candidates throughout Arizona in the 2020 election cycle.”
KelliPAC was established in 2015 as a multi-candidate political action committee (PAC) to support Dr. Ward’s efforts to get elected to the U.S. Senate. KelliPAC has operated independently since its formation and intends to continue to do so.
Ward ran for Senate in 2016 to primary challenge then-Sen. McCain, who had been sharply critical of President Trump in the final years of life and was largely responsible for tanking Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare. Dr. Ward also ran for Senate in 2018 and lost to McSally in what was a hotly contested primary. KelliPAC backed Ward during both of her Senate election campaigns.
Since the 2018 election cycle, Ward delivered a stunning blow to the establishment wing of the Republican Party by ousting the chairman of the state party and becoming the Arizona GOP chairwoman.
After winning the party chairmanship in January, Ward promised to “unify our party” so that the Arizona GOP can enter 2020 “at full strength.”
“Together, we will ensure a resounding victory for President Trump and Arizona Republicans up and down the ballot,” Ward continued. “Our party’s future is bright.”
Sen. McSally hopes to hold on to the Senate seat after she narrowly lost to now-Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).
Arizona GOP Gov. Doug Ducey appointed McSally to take over for Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), who filled late-Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) seat after he passed away.
After her loss in 2018, the McSally campaign released a memo which found that the Republican faced a cash disadvantage against Sinema, a hotly contested primary against Kelli Ward and Sheriff Joe Arpaio, as well as a short general election after a long GOP primary.
In June, President Donald Trump endorsed Sen. McSally in her reelection bid in the Arizona 2020 special election.
Now, with the president and KelliPAC’s endorsement, the Republican Party faces a more unified front in Sen. McSally’s reelection campaign that would suggest the GOP senator would face better reelection chances compared to her 2018 Senate campaign.
Trump wrote in a tweet in June:
A brave former fighter jet pilot and warrior, Senator Martha McSally of Arizona has done an outstanding job in D.C., and is fully supportive of our agenda – she is with us all the way……Martha is strong on Crime and Borders, the 2nd Amendment, and loves our Military and Vets. She has my Complete and Total Endorsement!