Martha McSally poses with her dog, Boomer
Republican U.S. Sen. Martha McSally and Democrat Mark Kelly will participate in an Oct. 6 debate on domestic policy, including the country’s response to COVID-19 and the social justice movement, in addition to foreign policy and Arizona issues.
The debate is organized by four Arizona media outlets: The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com; Arizona PBS and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University; KJZZ-FM (91.5), metro Phoenix’s public radio station; and Arizona Public Media, southern Arizona’s PBS and National Public Radio affiliate.
Voters can watch the 90-minute debate live at 7 p.m. Tuesday on Arizona PBS, KJZZ and AZPM and streamed on azcentral.com or YouTube. A 30-minute debate recap, likely by liberal commentators, will follow the event.
The debate comes one day before early voting begins in Arizona in one of the country’s most-watched U.S. Senate races, a special election to fill the rest of the 2017-2022 term that John McCain (R) was elected to in 2016.
Before she was sworn in as a U.S. Senator in January 2019, McSally previously represented Arizona’s second congressional district for four years in the U.S. House of Representatives. Martha serves on the following Senate Committees: Armed Services; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; Energy and Natural Resources; Indian Affairs; and the Special Committee on Aging.
Prior to serving in Congress, Senator McSally served 26 years in the U.S. Air Force, retiring in 2010 as a full Colonel. During her 26-year military career, she deployed six times to the Middle East and Afghanistan, flying 325 combat hours and earning a Bronze Star and six air medals. She broke barriers for women and girls everywhere — becoming not only the first woman in U.S. history to fly a fighter jet in combat— but the first woman to command a fighter squadron in combat in United States history.
Her opponent, Mark Kelly, is a former Captain in the U.S. Navy and astronaut. Kelly is facing backlash for apparent business ties to China. Kelly co-founded World View Enterprises, which originated as a space exploration start up, and served an advisor until launching his bid for the Senate.
“World View was invested in by a high-profile Chinese technology company, Tencent, owns WeChat, a Chinese social media platform,” Townhall.com reports. “Tencent is known to have used surveillance tactics on its billions of subscribers, and censors language that is critical of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). A handful of GOP senators classify Tencent as a national security threat and a puppet of the CCP.”
Indeed, the United Nations shared the senators’ concern; the UN’s Human Rights Watch chief classified Tencent as “an enabler of Chinese government oppression,” as RealClearPolitics notes.
Aside from the different way they view Chinese interests (McSally is wary of Communist China), the two Senate candidates differ strongly on Second Amendment issues.
Speaking with dozens of members of the firearm and ammunition industry for an National Shooting Sports Foundation PAC virtual town hall, Sen. McSally got right to the point when asked by NSSF’s Larry Keane what the Second Amendment means to her.
“I’ve put my life on the line for the Second Amendment,” she said.
Sen. McSally wrapped up the June 8 town hall by recalling the successes of the Senate and President Donald Trump in placing more than 200 pro-Second Amendment federal judges on the bench, including two on the Supreme Court, reinforcing just how important it is for industry-supporting Senators to remain in office.
Democrat Kelly, on the other hand, is a strong proponent of gun control. Outside groups like billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety and others are pouring millions of dollars into Arizona to help Kelly, who has spent little time on the campaign trail discussing his anti-2nd Amendment position.
Kelly’s wife, then-Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ), survived an assassination attempt in Tucson, AZ. in January 2011. She and 20 other people were shot, including six fatally, in an event for constituents. Giffords was left with severe brain injuries but went on to make a remarkable recovery. After the shooting, she and Kelly founded the Americans for Responsible Solutions (later changing its name to “Giffords”) and campaigned for gun control.
Democrats are hoping that electing Kelly could torpedo President Trump’s nomination to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated after the death of Ruth B. Ginsberg.
The Citizens Clean Election Commission is sponsoring the 90-minute debate.
VOTE: McSally for Senate