Sen. Martha McSally Mark Kelly

Sen. Martha McSally, left, and Mark Kelly, right.

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - It's a battle of military veterans for the lone Arizona Senate seat up for grabs in the U.S. Congress. Republican Sen. Martha McSally is the incumbent, and Democrat Mark Kelly is the challenger.

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McSally got the job in an unconventional way. After serving two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives for Arizona's 2nd Congressional District starting in 2014, she ran for U.S. Senate in 2018. McSally lost to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema. However, Sen. John McCain died that same year. After fill-in John Kyl resigned, Gov. Doug Ducey appointed McSally to the seat. She is the second woman ever to represent Arizona in the U.S. Senate, just behind Sinema.

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November's election is a special election, which means the winner will serve the last two years of the current term. The regular election for the seat's six-year term will be held in 2022.

McSally served in the U.S. Air Force for more than 20 years. She was the first American woman to fly in combat, as well as the first woman to command a squadron. After losing a bid to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012, she won in 2014 and 2016.

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Kelly is a former U.S. Navy captain and an astronaut. He has piloted and commanded multiple shuttle missions, including the final mission of Space Shuttle Endeavor. After that, he retired from NASA. Kelly is the husband of former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. She was shot in the head and nearly died during a Congress On Your Corner event in Tucson in 2011. After the mass shooting at Sandy Hook in 2012, the pair founded Americans for Responsible Solutions, a nonprofit that pushes for more gun control. In 2019, Kelly announced his intention to run for Senate and easily won the Democratic nomination.

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Here's a look where each candidate stands on a couple of issues.

Health Care

Kelly supports everyone having health insurance, including coverage for pre-existing conditions. He also wants a public health care option that would compete with private insurers. Kelly calls for more oversight of hospital costs.

McSally has voted multiple times to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. She also has voted for protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions.


Kelly supports strong border security with more technology, well-staffed ports of entry, and, "where effective," a border wall. He also supports so-called DREAMers with DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

McSally was more moderate in her years in the House of Representatives, voting against ending DACA and had co-sponsored a DACA bill. Since becoming a Trump ally, she supported tougher immigration laws and doesn't support those in the country illegally having a pathway to citizenship. She says the border wall is "critical to our national security."

For more information on Kelly's stances, click/tap here.

For more information on McSally's views, click/tap here.


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