With the open presidential primaries continuing to dominate the media coverage, often times it’s easy to forget about the many congressional elections of 2016. There are 34 seats up in the United States Senate this cycle including ones involving retiring members. For example, Barbara Boxer is packing it in (sort of makes me sad that Carly Fiorina is spending all this energy running for president when she had already established a name for herself in a previous Senate run in California). Harry Reid is finally exiting. Obviously, Marco Rubio is retiring. Plus, Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) is done.
Boxer has been a Senator since 1993. Harry Reid and Barbara Mikulski since 1987 — the same year Senator John McCain was sworn into office, too.
While Senator McCain has fought many years for the American people — both as a respected veteran and as a Republican Senator from Arizona, his later years of service continue to be called into question by many in the Republican base. This includes his decision to run again, asking the voters of Arizona to give him another six years to occupy the U.S. Senate seat. It’s folks like this — and Thad Cochran from 2014 — that make Americans wonder why they’d want to stay in Congress for literally decades. Even leftist Democrats (Boxer, Reid, et al) know when it’s time to retire.
With such antipathy existing at the idea of being called “wacko birds” and/or “crazies” for another six years, the base is definitely looking for a challenger. As such, State Senator Kelli Ward is off to a pretty good start.
She announced her decision to challenge Senator McCain in July.
One month later, in August, Breitbart reported her besting McCain in a Gravis Marketing poll, 45-36.
And after last week’s budget disaster that was passed in the dead of night, Senator McCain voted the same way his Democrat colleagues expected him to. Kelli Ward denounced the vote as “shameful.”
Since then, and very recently, she was endorsed by the Conservative Campaign Committee who say we need to send “reinforcements” to Lee, Cruz, and Paul.
But what about her record?
It’s a little abbreviated considering that Ward has not been in politics for very long. Although Breitbart has referred to her as a “rising star.”
Ward is a physician. She earned her various degrees in psychology and medicine at Duke University and West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine.
Politically, she won a three-way race in 2012 which was held to replace a retiring Republican member of the Arizona Legislature. She then won re-election in 2014.
She’s got a libertarian streak, it seems. In late 2013, Ward began pushing legislation to keep warrantless NSA snooping practices out of Arizona. When asked back then about it, she stated the following:
While media attention is focused on a possible effort to shut off water to the NSA data center in Utah, I’m introducing the Arizona Fourth Amendment Protection Act to back our neighbors up. Just in case the NSA gets any ideas about moving south, I want them to know the NSA isn’t welcome in Arizona unless it follows the Constitution.”
“I believe the number one priority for national security is defending and protecting the Constitution. Without that, the rest becomes irrelevant. There is no question that the NSA program, as it is now being run, violates the Fourth Amendment. This is a way to stop it.
She was later criticized by politicians and the press by listening to concerns of Arizona residents relating to what is known as the “chemtrails conspiracy.” An article in the AZCentral describes the conspiracy theory as follows:
A gathering of western Arizona residents, convinced they’re being contaminated by chemicals spewed by overflying aircraft, pressed repeatedly but futilely for a state investigation at a meeting convened by state Sen. Kelli Ward, R-Lake Havasu City.
Even though no evidence of such was found, Ward believed it was still her responsibility to hear her constituency:
“The people who are concerned about this, I did describe you as relentless,” she told the audience. “That is not a bad thing to be; it’s not a good thing for me as an elected representative … to ignore what many people in my district are concerned about.”
The important part to many — especially those who elected her — was her willingness to hear them about concerns they had and how much it said about her character as a public servant even though she herself has said she didn’t believe in the theory. It was still her duty to hear the voters in lieu of calling them “crazies.”
Though her political career is brief, it seems to be colored in with personable attention paid to the voters which is lacking in D.C. today.
Also, as a physician she has personal knowledge of ObamaCare’s negative impact on Americans. You can see here her new plan to repeal and replace it.
Follow Kelli Ward on Twitter
Follow her on Facebook.
You can view her campaign website here.