Martha McSally: Short general election was key factor in 2018 loss

Arizona Republican Martha McSally said Tuesday that her unsuccessful Senate run in 2018 came down to one major factor: She ran out of time.
//Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo

By Bridget Bowman | Roll Call

Arizona Republican Martha McSally said Tuesday that her unsuccessful Senate run in 2018 came down to one major factor: She ran out of time.

“We didn’t get a chance for [voters] to get to know me, what I’ve done all my life, what I did in the House,” McSally, a former fighter pilot, told reporters Tuesday. “We were very aware of these challenges at the time but we ran out of airspeed and altitude. And we weren’t defined and resilient enough.”

After losing to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema by 2 points last fall, McSally earned an appointment to the state’s other Senate seat, which became vacant last year after the death of longtime GOP Sen. John McCain. McSally is running in 2020 to serve the last two years of McCain’s term.

McSally won a divisive late August primary in 2018 and had a short window to shift to a general election. Arizonans, who largely vote by mail, can begin mailing ballots in early October. McSally, who represented a Tucson area district in the House for two terms, said she was largely unknown in the Phoenix area, which is the state’s largest media market.

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