imageSaying 30 years in Washington D.C. has changed John McCain, State Senator Dr. Kelli Ward, announced this evening that she is challenging the state’s senior U.S. Senator in next year’s primary election. It’s a race she full acknowledges is an uphill battle.

“This is a David and Goliath battle,” Ward said before a packed crowd, referring to the classic biblical story, “but remember, David won that one.”

Until today, Ward had been merely exploring the possibility of running for McCain’s seat. She has been traveling the state to gauge the support she might receive at the ballot box and in financial backing.

During her formal announcement tonight, Ward took direct aim at McCain on two major fronts—illegal immigration and Obamacare. She claimed his support for ‘comprehensive immigration reform’ amounted to nothing more than ‘amnesty.’ She chastised him for making promises to secure the border in past campaigns, but falling short every time.

Despite McCain’s stated opposition to the Affordable Health Care Act, Ward says, the senator has worked hard to keep it funded. As an emergency room physician by trade, Ward told those on hand that she see the impact the act—informally known as Obamacare—has had on her profession and the people who have to seek treatment. She has long been a staunch opponent of Obamacare and advocates for its repeal.

While she honored McCain for his service to our country as a POW and retired Navy veteran, Ward said his time in Washington has changed him. She accused him of being a convenient conservative only during elections, but moves to the left politically once he’s back in Congress.

“We all know he’s going to move to the right,” Ward said. “He’s going to move so far to the right, he’ll be bumping into my left shoulder.”

“It’s time to retire McCain,” she added. “Arizonans deserve a senator that represents their values and that can be done by someone who is energetic, fully charged and ready to go.”

Arizona Republicans will go to the polls on Aug. 30, 2016 to choose their nominee for the general election in November.

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