AP NEWS

Ward returns to Arizona amid growing support

July 23, 2016 GMT

Things are heating up, said U.S. Senate candidate Kelli Ward – not just in terms of temperature, but in her campaign against incumbent Sen. John McCain.

Ward, a native of Lake Havasu City, on Wednesday returned to Arizona from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. There, she found herself surprised and encouraged by the amount of support she received from Republicans throughout the U.S., as well as delegates from her home state.

Political pollster Frank Luntz attended the convention, where he asked members of Arizona’s delegation who they would choose in the race between McCain and Ward. According to Ward, about half of the delegates in attendance chose her.

“I was surprised,” Ward said. “I’ve met people from all over our country. I’m excited to see the momentum that’s building among liberty-loving people who want to change Washington, and see me as a way of doing that.”

Ward has accused McCain of using his seat to further his political and special interests while ignoring the needs of Arizona conservatives. She sees herself as a candidate with a fresh perspective who can represent Arizonans’ interests to a greater extent than McCain is able, or – according to Ward – willing to.

“At the convention, I called out McCain,” Ward said. “He’s spent $2 million to attack me. He clearly has something to say to me. I’ve challenged him to a debate. The biggest risk for Mohave County Republicans is if McCain gets the nomination for Arizona’s Senate again. If McCain wins the nomination, we could lose that seat to the democratic candidate.”

Ward said that she was excited to hear Republican frontrunner Donald Trump speak at the convention. “We need to unify the party,” Ward said. “I’ve met people on a lot of different teams – Ted Cruz supporters, Rand Paul supporters and others – but I loved seeing that thread, weaving through the party, pulling people together.”

Ward will be on the road in Arizona throughout the next several months, campaigning with special emphasis on the state’s border security.

“Border security is national security,” she said. “There was going to be a wall before, but the federal government didn’t want to fund it. They decided it was more important to do comprehensive immigration reform – AKA, amnesty.”

Ward says that Washington D.C. democrats are attempting to grant amnesty to undocumented immigrants again, and feels that the nation’s security is at stake in this election.

“I’m looking forward to going to Washington D.C., representing the interests of Arizona and making sure we protect not just the state’s security, but the nation’s security.”