PHOENIX — Arizona Sen. Martha McSally has won Tuesday's Republican primary race against challenger Daniel McCarthy, according to the Associated Press.
That cleared the way for McSally to face Democrat Mark Kelly in the 2020 U.S. Senate special election in Arizona.
This was McCarthy's first run for office.
McSally was the heavy favorite against McCarthy. McSally will go on to face Kelly in the November general election for the late John McCain's seat.
Current polls show McSally is trailing Kelly in the fall matchup by about 7 points.
On Wednesday, McSally challenged Kelly to seven debates and claimed her Democratic rival has been evading scrutiny.
McSally must overcome a fundraising and polling deficit in a race that will help determine control of the U.S. Senate.
Kelly's campaign manager did not directly respond to the proposal for seven debates, according to The Associated Press.
She says he's accepted one debate invitation, is pursuing another and looks forward to debating McSally.
Following the Aug. 2018 death of McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey was required to appoint a Republican to fill the vacant seat through the end of the term, expiring in January 2023. Ducey appointed former U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl in September 2018.
Kyl later announced he would resign on Dec. 31.
After McSally lost in the Nov. 2018 Senate election to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, Ducey appointed her the next month to replace Kyl following his resignation. This triggered the special election.
McSally released the following statement after the primary victory:
“Tonight’s record turnout of conservative Arizonans proves that Republicans are ready to fight for the future of our country and win in November. We are on the cusp of a great American comeback. Over the last three years, Republican leadership and policies unleashed record economic growth, rebuilt our military, and finally began to hold China accountable for years of ripping off American workers. It is an honor to fight for Arizonans, and together with Republican leadership, we will be able to rebuild and restore Arizona and our country.
“Mark Kelly’s first vote would be to put Chuck Schumer in charge of the Senate, which would usher in the most the most far Left policies that have become mainstream in the Democrat Party: raising taxes, government takeover of health care, letting China take advantage of us, and a ‘Green New Deal’ that would plunge our country into trillions of dollars of debt. The more voters learn about this radical agenda over the next 90 days, the more they will continue to reject it.”