Arizona Senate Biography

In the 2016 Arizona race for Senate, longtime incumbent, republican Sen. John McCain is being challenged by democratic representative Ann Kirkpatrick. McCain was born in Coco Solo Naval Station in Panama. His tenure in government however, was preceded by an extensive and honorable career in the Naval Services. McCain attended the U.S. Naval Academy from 1954 to 1958. He retired in April 1981 with the rank of captain. In that time he received 17 awards and decorations.. McCain’s path led directly to government, representing the republican party. Sen. McCain is an American hero to most, and his military feats only strengthened his bid for candidacy. John was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from the First District of Arizona on an agenda of limited government and strong foreign policy. After two terms in the House, John was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986. He has held the senate seat since his election in 1986. He currently serves as Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and serves on the Senate’s committees on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and Indian Affairs.

Sen. McCain’s challenger is a congress-woman for Arizona, and her name is Ann Kirkpatrick. She hails from the democratic party but, Ann grew up in a bipartisan household. Representative Kirkpatrick’s dad was a democrat, and her mother was a republican. Nevertheless, Her parents taught her that no one party has a monopoly on good ideas, and the best solutions are the often the ones where everyone gives a little and finds common ground. Rep. Kirkpatrick’s moderate views should most likely help her, considering a republican has held the seat in challenge since 1986. In November 2004, Ann was elected to the state House of Representatives to represent Legislative District 2, and in 2008, the voters of Congressional District One chose Ann to represent them in Congress.

Rep. Kirkpatrick did not face a primary challenger for the 2016 race most likely because she is already favored by many voters in Arizona. This could have helped Rep. Kirkpatrick in a few ways such as being to put extra efforts in strategy against Sen. McCain or voters perceiving the democratic party to be unified. The republican party produced two opponents for Sen. McCain in the primaries. In the primary election on August 30, 2016, McCain defeated former Arizona state Sen. Kelli Ward, and  McCain also defeated retired political talk radio show host and perennial candidate Clair Van Steenwyk in the Republican primary. These two did not provide much competition for Sen. McCain seeing as there was nothing, such as a scandal, to affect his position. (Hernson, Contested primaries with an Incumbent, pg. 53).

Normally, this general election would not be a close race, but the current presidential election is affecting elections across the nation. Sen. McCain will have to walk to win re-election with Donald Trump at the top of the ballot. This will obviously have an effect on the general election considering the Hispanic population of Arizona. Rep. Kirkpatrick is benefitted by this particular situation however.  She is likely to tie McCain to Trump in an effort to earn votes from Hispanics in the state. She is also likely to continue criticizing McCain’s failure to oppose Trump’s controversial statements and policies in order to win the votes of Trump’s supporters, which she said demonstrates “that he’s not the principled leader he used to be. While it may be early to see a definitive affect, this race may turn out to be interesting due to external situations. It will become a very interesting race if Rep. Kirkpatrick can gain enough ground to force incumbent Sen. McCain to campaign in earnest again.


3 thoughts on “Arizona Senate Biography”

  1. It seems that like McCain, Kirk (the incumbent Senator from Illinois) is struggling the same to be part of a party that has Donald Trump as the presidential nominee. I wonder how this factor will play into how both challengers shape their campaign and if the incumbents choose to defend Trump or distance themselves from him.


    1. This seems to be a problem for many republicans around the nation. It is smart on our incumbent’s challengers to use this as a strategy to gain votes in their favor. If there is a high Hispanic turnout in the polls, there could be some big changes made in our respective states. Thanks for the thought.


  2. I wonder if McCain’s contested primary (more than his recent primaries have been contested at least) will help him in the general election. (The Hogan article might be relevant here.) It certainly gave him more of a ‘work out’ as a longterm incumbent as he led into this unusual general election likely to offer him a more significant challenge than usual as well! Also be sure to put quotation marks around direct quotes. It’s good to cite them with links as you do, but be sure it’s clear they’re direct quotations from those links, not just info you gained from those links and rephrased yourself.


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