If the Democrats plan on getting political traction with their campaign theme that Republicans are waging a “war on women,” it'll have to go through Martha McSally, a Republican challenging Democratic Rep. Ron Barber for his Arizona House seat. The Wall Street Journal wrote extensively of her successful challenge to the ”war” strategy in its Monday edition.
The 48-year-old retired Air Force Col. McSally, 48, is the United States’ first female fighter pilot to fly in combat. She has described herself as “a woman warrior.” Definitely not a description a Democratic DNC strategist would describe as a Republican woman, or more appropriately, “victim.”
A feisty McSally said, “I’ve been fighting for women’s rights and women’s equality my whole life,” she said in her 2012 to unseat Barber. She lost by less than one percent of the vote. She continued, You want to know about a war on women? Walk in my shoes down the streets of Kabul. Walk in my shoes down the streets of Riyadh, where women have to be covered up, where they’re stoned, where they’re honor-killed if they’ve been raped, where they can’t drive and they can’t travel without the permission of a male relative. That’s a war on women.”
Barber was former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ district director, until she was shot in January, 2012 and resigned from her office. Barber went on to win a special election to finish Gifford's term.
Republicans within the district and state are enthusiastic about their candidate's bold speeches and campaign comments that defy the stereotype Democrats have placed on GOP women. She represents one of its best chances to rebut the Democrats’ characterization of the Republican Party as anti-woman casting them as anti-abortion and against pay equity.
Always the warrior. McSally in 2001 successfully sued the Department of Defense. She challenged the military’s then-policy requiring servicewomen stationed in Saudi Arabia to wear the body-covering abaya when traveling off base in the country.
Congress approved that legislation and provided taxpayer money to buy the body-covering garb. Ten years later she criticized the military for ordering women soldiers to wear head scarves in Afghanistan, according the The Post.
McSally has out-raised her opponent, Barber, $441,105 to $422,799 in the first quarter of the 2014, according to The Arizona Star. McSally has accumulated more than $1.2 million since announcing last year that she would challenge Barber for a second time.
Daniel Scarpinato, National Republican Congressional Committee Spokesman, said McSally's contributions in the last fiscal cycle “was the highest in the country for a Republican challenger.”
McSally represents yet another sort of nightmare Democratic strategists are finding to demonize with potential voters in the coming midterm elections.
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