Martha McSally

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Martha McSally
Martha McSally official congressional photo.jpg
U.S. House, Arizona, District 2
In office
January 3, 2015 - Present
Term ends
January 3, 2017
Years in position 0
PredecessorRon Barber (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 4, 2014
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sUnited States Air Force Academy
Master'sHarvard University
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Air Force
Office website
Campaign website
Martha McSally campaign logo
Martha McSally is a Republican member of the U.S. House, representing the 2nd Congressional District of Arizona. McSally was first elected in 2014. She defeated Shelley Kais and Chuck Wooten in the Republican primary on August 26, 2014. She then faced a rematch with incumbent Ron Barber (D) in the general election. The race between McSally and Barber remained uncalled for over six weeks following the general election. McSally was finally crowned the winner on December 17, 2014.[1]

McSally unsuccessfully ran for the seat in 2012, narrowly losing to Ron Barber in the general election. McSally also ran for election to the U.S. House to represent the 8th Congressional District of Arizona in the special election primary on April 17, 2012.


McSally is the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat and the first to command a fighter squadron in combat in U.S. history. She retired from the Air Force as a colonel in 2010. McSally is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and earned a master's degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. She earned a second master's in strategic studies from the U.S. Air War College. Prior to her 2012 congressional run, McSally served as a Professor of National Security Studies at the George C. Marshall Center in Germany.[2]


Below is an abbreviated outline of McSally's academic, professional and political career:[3]

  • 1988: Graduated from United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs with a B.S.
  • 1990: Graduated from John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University with an M.P.P.
  • 1988-2010: U.S. Air Force
  • 2012: Unsuccessful candidate for U.S. House
  • 2015-Present: U.S. Representative, Arizona's 2nd Congressional District


Campaign themes


McSally's campaign website listed the following four pillars of her campaign:[4]

  • Economy: "Families in our community are barely getting by, small businesses are struggling to survive, and Davis-Monthan is at risk of closing. Ron Barber favors job-killing policies that hurt middle class families and he was asleep at the wheel on the risk to DM until I alerted him in an August 27th op-ed. We need a representative in Congress who is going to champion solutions and policies that bring economic growth to Southern Arizona."
  • Leadership: "Washington is broken. People are rightfully fed up with politicians and incumbents. We need servant leadership more than ever, focused on what is best for the country and community, instead of worrying about their next election. I am ready to bring to Congress the core values I learned in the Air Force; service, excellence, and integrity. It’s time for a fresh face with a proven record of leadership to solve the challenges we face."
  • Government Overreach: "So many people in Southern Arizona have been hurt by Obamacare-the government takeover of 1/6 of the economy, and Ron Barber supports it. We need common sense solutions to bring down the cost of healthcare so it is more affordable and available, not social engineering founded on mandates, taxes, and penalties."
  • National Security: "America is facing an increasing array of threats to our security and way of life and we must ensure we have a military that is trained and equipped to protect us. This district contains two critical military bases, a large stretch of the border that is not secure, and 85,000 veterans, as well as citizens who care deeply about the lack of leadership in DC on national security, defense, and support to veterans. I served 26 years in the military, retiring as a full Colonel, and I have the experience and proven leadership to provide oversight to the Administration to defend America."


—Martha McSally's campaign website,


McSally's campaign website listed the following issues:[6]

  • Constructive Role of Federal Government
Excerpt: "Year after year, the federal government has increased its reach into people’s lives, constraining our civil liberties and wasting the hard earned money of Americans. The Constitution is clear. Those powers not specifically given to the federal government belong to the states and the people."
  • Real Jobs & Economic Opportunities
Excerpt: "We have to reduce federal regulations, cut taxes, and stop Washington from choosing economic winners and losers based on who has the best lobbyists. We need to make the United States the most attractive place in the world to do business."
  • Forward Thinking National Security
Excerpt: "We face powerful and determined threats across the globe. I have spent my life defending America from these threats, and I’m not about to stop now. We have to be discerning of their intent and capabilities; we must be decisive about the course we take."
  • Reduce Government Spending & Debt
Excerpt: "A rising mountain of debt is hanging over each and every one of us. If we don’t rein in spending now and reduce our deficit, we risk the retirements of so many senior citizens who have worked and saved their entire lives, and the future of every generation to come. We have to get more bang for our tax buck. The wasteful, spending programs of recent years cannot continue."
  • Life
Excerpt: "I believe in the sanctity of every human life."



See also: Arizona's 2nd Congressional District elections, 2014

Arizona's 2nd Congressional District was a battleground district in 2014 due to the fact that the seat was held by a Democrat, but the district had roughly even numbers of registered Democrats and Republicans and was won by the Republican presidential candidate in 2008 and 2012. Incumbent Ron Barber faced no challenger in the Democratic primary. In the Republican primary, Martha McSally triumphed over Chuck Wooten and Shelley Kais. Barber and McSally faced off in the general election on November 4, 2014, in a rematch of the 2012 general election. The election took over six weeks to decide, and McSally was crowned the winner following a mandatory recount that took place after the official canvass and certification of votes on December 1. In 2012, Barber narrowly defeated McSally by 0.8 percent of the vote.[7][8][9]

The National Republican Congressional Committee added McSally to their "On the Radar" list in November 2013. According to the NRCC, candidates that made this list were set to receive "...the tools they need to run successful, winning campaigns against their Democratic opponents."[10]

U.S. House, Arizona District 2 General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMartha McSally 50% 109,704
     Democratic Ron Barber Incumbent 49.9% 109,543
     Write-in Sampson U. Ramirez 0% 56
     Write-in Sydney Dudikoff 0% 48
Total Votes 219,351
Source: Arizona Secretary of State
U.S. House, Arizona District 2 Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngMartha McSally 69.4% 45,492
Chuck Wooten 22.9% 14,995
Shelley Kais 7.8% 5,103
Total Votes 65,590
Source: Arizona Secretary of State


On March 29, 2014, Speaker John Boehner headlined a fundraiser for Martha McSally and Andy Tobin (AZ-01).[11]


Regular election

See also: Arizona's 2nd Congressional District elections, 2012

McSally ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. House to represent Arizona's 2nd District. She defeated Mark Koskiniemi in the Republican primary on August 28, 2012. She lost to incumbent Ron Barber (D) in the general election on November 6, 2012, in a race that was too close to call for one week after the election took place.[12][13][14]

U.S. House, Arizona District 2 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngRon Barber Incumbent 50.4% 147,338
     Republican Martha McSally 49.6% 144,884
     Libertarian Anthony Powell 0% 57
Total Votes 292,279
Source: Arizona Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Special election

See also: Arizona's 8th Congressional District special election, 2012

McSally ran in the 2012 special election for the U.S. House, representing Arizona's 8th District. She lost to Jesse Kelly in the April 17 Republican primary.[15]

Campaign donors


Candidates for Congress were required to file reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are McSally's reports.

Martha McSally (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[16]April 15, 2013$20,380.37$8,475.90$(6,216.72)$22,639.55
July Quarterly[17]July 15, 2013$22,639.55$15,002.15$(7,037.66)$30,604.04
October Quarterly[18]October 15, 2013$30,604.04$394,880.98$(37,287.73)$388,197.29
Year-End[19]January 31, 2014$388,197$322,585$(162,807)$547,974
April Quarterly[20]April 15, 2014$547,974$441,105$(141,937)$847,142
July Quarterly[21]July 15, 2014$847,142$653,357$(343,459)$1,157,040
Pre-Primary[22]August 14, 2014$1,157,040$382,732$(530,096)$1,009,677
October Quarterly[23]October 15, 2014$1,009,677$1,058,715$(1,044,856)$1,017,830
Pre-General[24]October 23, 2014$1,017,830$394,644$(587,124)$825,101
Running totals


McSally did not win election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, McSally's campaign committee raised a total of $1,458,136 and spent $1,438,090.[25]

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See also

External links

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  1. Arizona Public Media, "UPDATE: McSally Wins Congressional Seat, Recount Confirms," December 17, 2014
  2. Campaign website, "Meet Martha," accessed June 10, 2014
  3. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "McSALLY, Martha, (1966 - )," accessed January 21, 2015
  4. Campaign website, "The 3 Pillars of My Campaign," accessed June 10, 2014
  5. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  6. Campaign website, "Issues," accessed August 10, 2012
  7. Politico, "2014 Arizona House Primaries Results," accessed August 27, 2014
  8. Arizona Secretary of State, "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election," accessed July 16, 2014
  9. Arizona Public Media, "UPDATE: McSally Wins Congressional Seat, Recount Confirms," December 17, 2014
  10. Roll Call, "House Republicans Put 36 Recruits ‘On the Radar’" accessed November 21, 2013
  11. Political Party Time, "Luncheon for McSally Tobin Victory Committee," March 29, 2014
  12. Seattle PI "Voters in Arizona's 2nd pick Barber over McSally," November 17, 2012
  13. Arizona Secretary of State, "Official primary candidate list," August 28, 2012
  14. Associated Press, "Primary results," August 28, 2012
  15. Washington Post, "Voters in Arizona's 8th Congressional District pick Kelly as GOP candidate for Giffords' seat," April 18, 2012
  16. Federal Election Commission, "Martha McSally April Quarterly," accessed July 28, 2013
  17. Federal Election Commission, "Martha McSally July Quarterly," accessed July 28, 2013
  18. Federal Election Commission, "Martha McSally October Quarterly," accessed October 29, 2013
  19. Federal Election Commission, "Martha McSally Year-End," accessed February 7, 2014
  20. Federal Election Commission, "Martha McSally April Quarterly," accessed April 30, 2014
  21. Federal Election Commission, "Martha McSally July Quarterly," accessed July 24, 2014
  22. Federal Election Commission, "Martha McSally Pre-Primary," accessed October 22, 2014
  23. Federal Election Commission, "Martha McSally October Quarterly," accessed October 22, 2014
  24. Federal Election Commission, "Martha McSally Pre-General," accessed November 24, 2014
  25. Open Secrets, "Martha McSally 2012 Election Cycle," accessed March 19, 2013
Political offices
Preceded by
Ron Barber
U.S. House - Arizona District 2
Succeeded by