Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 5, 2016

Arizona: Martha McSally Aide Resigns

An aide to Martha McSally, the presumptive GOP nominee in Arizona’s 2nd district, has resigned from the campaign.

McSally’s communications director, Sam Stone, stepped down after he reportedly approached an aide to the campaign of Democrat Ron Barber and offered advice on how to beat Republican Jesse Kelly in the special election to replace former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D).

“Members of my campaign team are representatives of who I am, what I stand for and why I am running for Congress,” McSally said in a statement. “Because of that, my communications director, Sam Stone, has resigned his position with the campaign effective immediately.”

The incident was first reported by Politico.

Stone is one of the local Republicans credited with discovering McSally and helping to get her campaign off the ground during the frenzied special election, which was held last week. The incident involving him plays into chatter among Tucson Republicans that McSally was not sufficiently supportive of Kelly in that race after she lost to him in the special election primary.

In a recent interview with Roll Call, McSally insisted she encouraged voters to go to the polls for Kelly.

Barber, who won the special election by a comfortable margin, is set to be sworn in to Congress today. He will likely face McSally in the fall when he runs for re-election.

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    National and indeed State Rs missed their best chance to reclaim this turf (anchored in East End of Tucson; since its ’82 creation numbered 5th, 8th, and now 2nd) in 2010. In the wake of the tragic shooting and commission-led re-drawing, this constituency seems more akin to a semi-urban Upstate NY seat than, say, the southern NM seat or a rural CO seat. Unless the Party has confetti money to throw away, the R high command ought to cede this seat.

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