McCain's death shadows Republican primary in Arizona

In U.S. Senate primary Arizona Republicans compete over who loves Trump most

The seat formerly held by Sen. John McCain and selected a far-right conspiracy theorist as one of her surrogates.

Three Republicans are vying Tuesday to replace Sen. Jeff Flake on the ballot Tuesday, both the late senator and President Trump - who did little to hide his disdain for McCain - have factored into the bitter primary there.

McSally and Sinema will face off in the general election for Jeff Flake's Senate seat on November 6.

A contentious three-way US Senate battle in Arizona yesterday among Republicans fighting to prove the depth of their allegiance to President Donald Trump tops the last big day of state nominating contests before November's elections.

A contest between Sinema and McSally is one of the most evenly matched of the cycle, said Jennifer Duffy, a senior editor at the non-partisan Cook Political Report, who is tracking Senate races. Overshadowing the state's primary, though, is the death of Sen. But Democrats were in a festive mood, as results showed that voter turnout, usually damp in mid-term elections, had edged up by around 5 per cent according to Ms Felecia Rotellini, the party's state chairman. The victor will be the first female senator in Arizona. While Trump hasn't endorsed a candidate in the Senate race, he's spoken favorably about McSally and she's appeared alongside the president at the White House.

Trump has waded into Florida's hotly contested Republican gubernatorial primary, endorsing conservative US Representative Ron DeSantis over Adam Putnam, the state agriculture commissioner and a former US congressman.

Trump reiterated his support for DeSantis on Twitter Monday, calling the congressman a "special person" who is "Strong on Crime, Borders and wants Low Taxes".

McSally, an air force fighter pilot, easily defeated Kelli Ward, a hardline former state senator, and Joe Arpaio, the former Maricopa County sheriff whose criminal conviction was pardoned by Donald Trump a year ago, when they split the anti-establishment vote. Will it be south Florida Democrats or panhandle Republicans who turn out in numbers closer to presidential year voting?

Arpaio, who built a national reputation as an immigration hard-liner, won a pardon from Trump after he was convicted of criminal contempt in a case involving racial profiling. Bill Clinton was the last Democratic presidential nominee to carry Arizona in 1996.

Trump has not endorsed any of the three Republicans.

Pragmatic centrists are hoping for Gwen Graham, the former congresswoman and daughter of Florida political icon Bob Graham, who served as governor and senator. Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum could become the state's first black governor, and either former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine or billionaire Jeff Greene could be the state's second Jewish governor. "It's up to all of us to follow his lead of always putting country over party", the Democrat said.

"The entire campaign has been defined by the effort to show who is the better, more enthusiastic supporter of the president", said Stan Barnes, a veteran Republican strategist in Arizona.

In Oklahoma, the race for governor between former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and businessman Kevin Stitt could hinge on which candidate voters believe is more loyal to Trump.

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