Republican Ed Martin Wants To Challenge U.S. Rep. Ron Barber

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Republican Ed Martin evidently plans to announce tomorrow that he wants a chance to challenge Congressman Ron Barber in Congressional District 2.

Martin, a onetime spokesman for former U.S. senator Alfonse D'Amato, has been an occasional guest host for Best of Tucson(TM) award-winning radio show host Jon Justice since moving to Arizona.

Martin plans to make an announcement regarding his candidacy at the Green Valley Republican Club at 9:30 tomorrow morning and will speak again to a reception of supporters at the Omni Tucson National Resort at 5:30 p.m. While the press release does not say he will run, we would think it odd to have two events announcing that he's not running, so we're guessing that he's in the race.

Martin is getting into the race ahead of Martha McSally, the former combat pilot who narrowly lost to Barber in 2012.

Our thumbnail analysis of the race from The Skinny a few weeks back:


Another question yet to be answered: Will McSally face a primary? We hear that Ed Martin, an occasional fill-in radio host for morning-talk jock Jon Justice, has been talking about running as well. Martin is a New York transplant with experience working as a press secretary for U.S. Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, among other gigs.

A primary could be trouble for McSally. Southern Arizona's GOP voters have leaned toward voting for the most conservative candidate in the primary. Given that dynamic, McSally will likely have to hang onto the very conservative positions she took in 2012 (such as opposing abortion in all cases except rape, incest and when a mother's life is in danger, or supporting an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would limit marriage to one man and one woman) rather than moderating herself for greater appeal to independents in the district.

We'll have more in next week's print edition, but here's Martin's rather minimalist website.

EDITED TO ADD: One of Martin's supporters let us know that he has a much more extensive website up here. Our apologies for not noticing it sooner.

It also appears that, following Martin's entrance into the race on Friday, McSally wants to make her campaign official as well. On her Facebook page, she's promising "an exciting announcement" this week.

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