U.S. Representative Martha McSally, a former Air Force combat pilot, said on Friday she would run against former sheriff Joe Arpaio, a close ally of President Donald Trump, in the race for the Republican nomination for a key Senate seat from Arizona.
The August primary contest is shaping up as the latest election to expose the divisions roiling the Republican Party, pitting the establishment-backed McSally against the bomb-throwing Arpaio.
McSally, 51, and Arpaio, 85, are expected to try to capture the insurgent appeal of Trump, a popular figure among Arizona Republicans. Both are seeking to succeed Republican Senator Jeff Flake, who announced he would not seek re-election after emerging as a leading critic of Trump within the president’s own party.
Arpaio, who entered the race on Tuesday, was pardoned by Trump last year after being convicted of criminal contempt of court for refusing to obey a court order in a racial profiling case focusing on Hispanics targeted as potential illegal immigrants.