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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Meet Dr. Ward: the woman who wants to go head-to-head against McCain in Senate

Tom Price
Dr. Kelli Ward poses in Main Gate Square on Friday, Feb. 5. Ward is planning to run for U.S. Senate against incumbent Sen. John McCain.

Dr. Kelli Ward wants to shake up Washington as Arizona’s next U.S. senator.

Ward, a former senator for Arizona’s 5th District, began a medical career with her own private family practice and now practices in emergency departments in Lake Havasu City and Kingman, Arizona, while running for Senate.

“I never thought that I would run for office,” Ward said. “But after I served in the Arizona state Senate, I looked at Washington, D.C., and I don’t think that it’s working.”

Ward said Arizonans came to her and asked her to consider running for Senate.

“They and I feel like 33 years in Washington is too long for one person to be there representing the state of Arizona,” Ward said, referring to Sen. John McCain.

She believes her plans can help make changes in the Capitol.

“I want to give people an opportunity to have a new fresh voice,” Ward said. “I think we need to let the next generation of leaders take the reins in D.C. so that the country can be put back on the right path.”

Ward said she believed the time was right with an insurgent candidate wanting to make a change. She said voters both left and right are “disgusted” with what is going on in Washington.

“They don’t like what’s happening in Washington, D.C., and they want to change it,” Ward said. “But really the only way we’re going to change Washington is by changing the people we send there.”

Ward describes herself as a well-spoken, well-educated, Constitution-loving, down-to-earth woman, that alone sets her apart from her opponent.

“I’m a small government Republican. I want small government, less regulation, lower taxes, a strong defense, personal responsibility across the board and I want people to follow the Constitution,” Ward said.

Ward said McCain doesn’t represent Republican values and that his record shows it. McCain has voted to raise the debt ceiling 15 of the 42 times it was presented, according to voting records.

McCain’s voting record is important to younger generations because it’s students who will be footing the bill, Ward said.

“I don’t like to see that, kicking the can down the road to our future generations,” she said. “I want the country to be strong and even more exceptional than it is as we move forward.”

For Ward, border security is a top priority not only for Arizona, but for the U.S. as well.

Meeting lots of different people has been Ward’s favorite part about her campaign. She believes she is an “ear that needs to listen” to the people and believes herself to be for the people.

As with any campaign, there are challenges. Ward says that trust among constituents is very important in her campaign strategy.

“The biggest thing I need to overcome is my level of name recognition,” Ward said. “That’s the big challenge, getting out and making sure people know the name Dr. Kelli Ward and that they know it’s someone they can trust and depend upon to do the job they expect to be done.”

Ward is strong in her belief that serving constituents should not be a career. Outside of the office, she not only focuses on her campaign, but on family life as well.

“I don’t want a political career, I have a career. I’m a wife, a mom, a doctor,” she said.

Taylor Hubbs, a junior studying public management and policy and head of UA Students for Ward, first met Ward at a UA College Republicans meeting last October.

“As a young woman, it’s good to see a strong conservative woman running,” Hubbs said. “It’s nice to have someone to look up to.”

Hubbs said Ward defies the common stereotypes of a politician. She believes that Ward is genuinely concerned about her constituents.

“Kelli is just an incredibly kind human being,” Hubbs said. “You hear of politicians being kind to their constituents because they want to be re-elected, but Kelli genuinely cares about every member of her team and people that she doesn’t even know. It’s just humbling to be around her.”

Hubbs thinks that this election is important because she believes Ward will be able to take the country back.

“Because of my age, Obama’s two terms are really what I remember in terms of politics.,” Hubbs said. “These last eight years have really been my emergence into politics and as a conservative, I don’t like the way our country is being ran right now. I think we’re heading in the wrong direction.”

At the end of the day, Ward is optimistic about winning not only the primary, but the general election as well.

“I look forward to making history,” Ward said.

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