“…it’s no question for us in November: The first-term Republican deserves to keep her seat.”

Our View: Why vote for McSally? She can get things done
www.azcentral.com

Southern Arizona’s Congressional District 2 is one of the nation’s most competitive districts.

Usually this seat is bitterly fought over and narrowly won – by less than 200 votes two years ago, for example.

But there are two words to explain why the race seems rather ho-hum this year: Martha McSally.

The district’s equal ideological split requires a moderate who is eager to work with anyone and serve everyone. Someone with a laser focus on the district’s needs, who knows that in this district, national defense isn’t just something to talk about in debates.

It’s people’s livelihood.

McSally is that representative. And that’s why it’s no question for us in November: The first-term Republican deserves to keep her seat.

Going to bat for the A-10, border

The former Air Force pilot successfully defended the A-10 against powerful interests that want to mothball the aircraft. That’s critically important for Tucson’s Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, a major employer in the district where the aircraft is based.

McSally worked hard to secure funding for wing upgrades and to require a fly-off with competitor jets before the A-10 is retired, effectively extending its life for at least a few more years.

She convinced Homeland Security officials to include the understaffed Douglas Port of Entry in its five-year infrastructure plan.

She also lobbied to get four southern Arizona transportation projects included as priorities in the long-term federal Highway Bill, including the Interstate 11 extension that would better connect the border with Phoenix and Las Vegas.

This isn’t pork-barrel spending. McSally fought hard for these projects because she knows how much her district’s economy relies on security, defense and cross-border trade. Being able to move goods and people more effectively makes sense – and cents – for her constituents.

One of Congress’ most successful

McSally isn’t just looking out for her district. She got nine bills through the House and two signed into law as a freshman representative, a number that only a fraction of her colleagues – even those with far more experience in D.C. – can match.

OK, so this isn’t fixing “Obamacare” or passing comprehensive immigration reform. The two bills signed into law fast-tracked veterans for border-security jobs and recognized female World War II pilots.

But McSally knows how the system works. She proposes ideas she knows will have enough traction to pass and builds on that momentum to get other things she (and her district) wants.

That’s smart lawmaking. The kind of give-and-take needed to get things done in such a polarized, dysfunctional place.

Practical above all, even on Trump

Some Democrats have criticized McSally for not taking a strong enough stand against Donald Trump. They say her unwillingness to talk about him makes her weak and afraid to balk her party.

Her record suggests otherwise. McSally balked some in her own party when she fought for a defense-spending bill, and she was the only Arizona Republican to vote for the highway bill.

It would be nice if she’d just come out and say that she doesn’t like Trump. It’s fairly obvious: McSally hasn’t endorsed him (then again, she says she doesn’t endorse anyone), and she has denounced his controversial comments, including those about a Gold Star family and groping women.

But we can appreciate the fine line she and other down-ballot Republicans have to walk on Trump this election. If anything, McSally’s refusal to join the scrum underlines her practicality. Distancing herself from Trump is probably the smartest thing she can do to appeal to voters on both sides this election.

That brings us to her opponent. Matt Heinz is smart and cordial. The Tucson attending physician intimately knows the district. He can talk in-depth on the issues. He worked with Republicans to get things done during his stint in the Arizona Legislature.

If only the challengers in other congressional districts were this qualified.

The trouble is Heinz is going up against an incumbent who’s already proven her ability to get things done in the wasteland we call Congress.

That’s why voters should give Martha McSally another two years there.

McSally has received the endorsement of 3 out of 3 newspapers to endorse so far for the CD-2 race:

  • Read the endorsement of the Arizona Daily Star HERE.
  • Read the endorsement of the Sierra Vista Herald HERE.