Former Republican Congressional hopeful, Martha McSally, who had been highly decorated for her audacity and tenacity in aerial combat, was barely defeated on the ground by her Democrat opponent, Ron Barber, back in November of 2012. That Arizona 2nd Congressional District election was one of the closest contests since Bush v. Gore in 2000.
McSally’s Democrat opponent eked out a narrow win with a miniscule .8%. margin of victory.
The Col. was running against Barber to fill the Arizona 2nd Congressional District (formerly 8th District) seat vacated by Gabrielle Giffords, who had resigned from office after having been shot by an angry voter. Barber’s campaign carried the day with 50.4% of the vote. Col. McSally (Ret.) trailed her opponent by .8%, having garnered 49.6% of all votes cast.
Don’t think for a moment that the Colonel just took her defeat lightly, dried her tears, and walked away.
Martha McSally is still inspiring young voters from Arizona to Rhode Island, telling them her story of military daring in the sky and on the ground. She is also still very active in pushing for Conservative advocacy of women’s rights from Phoenix to Kandahar.
She shared her military memories with guests at a Rhode Island GOP Reagan Dinner recently and the video of a question and answer session was posted to YouTube just three days ago.
In the video, after she responded to some young voters’ questions; McSally announced that she has, by no means, ruled out another run for the House or even Arizona’s governorship. She says she is even considering running for the U.S. Senate – thinking of replacing John McCain when he decides to retire. You can get acquainted with her a little more by watching the video.
Just to jog your memory, since you will be hearing from the Colonel again in the very near future, here is a quick biographical sketch of the warrior who will not let one small electoral loss deter her from serving the nation she loves as a civilian that she served as an air force pilot from 1988-2010.
Cadet McSally graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1988. She went on to earn a M.A. in Government from Harvard. She became a pilot and flew the A-10 Thunderbolt also known as a warthog. The A-10 is basically a tank with wings built to kill tanks on the ground and give combat troops air cover in the middle of a firefight.
In 1993, while she was an air force captain, she became one of only a dozen ladies who became the first women to fly their aircraft into combat following a forty-five year ban on females in air-combat.
During 2000-2002, while she was a Major stationed in Saudi Arabia, McSally, represented by The Rutherford Institute, sued the Department of Defense while on active duty.
Her lawsuit demanded that Secretary Rumsfeld lobby Congress to change the regulations which ordered American servicewomen deployed to Muslim nations like Saudi Arabia, to abide by Shar’ia law – including wearing the abaya and other Muslim attire. In 2002, Congress acquiesced to her plea and voted 93-0 to suspend the regulation. Her military legacy is that female American citizens deployed in Muslim nations like Saudi Arabia, no longer have to dress in restrictive Muslim garb.
McSally flew combat missions after her successful lawsuit too. McSally was promoted to Lt. Col. and flew her A-10 during Operation Enduring Freedom in the skies over Afghanistan. In 2010, she retired as a Colonel, after sharing her experience, tenacity, and wisdom with fellow officers at the Air War College.
Currently, she is helping Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel decide how to expand the role of women in combat. She has also been telling Congress about her opinion on ethics, human rights, and drone strikes when she testified before a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee just four days ago.
Watch out for Martha McSally in the coming days, weeks, and months ahead. This retired Warthog pilot is anything but down for the count.