by Jim Nintzel
Republican Martha McSally, who hopes to unseat Congressman Ron Barber, caught a break when fellow Republican Ed Martin dropped out of the race.
“As a result of unforeseen personal family challenges that have required and will continue to require my undivided attention, I find it necessary to withdraw from the Republican primary for Congress in CD-02," Martin announced on his website on Friday, Jan. 10.
Although he was an obvious underdog in the Republican primary, Martin was the first choice among Southern Arizona Republicans—mostly in the Tea Party wing of the party—who either distrusted or disliked McSally. Without a significant challenger to the right (and one could still emerge, although sand is running through the hourglass), McSally no longer has to worry about taking hard-right positions through August's primary election that could later hurt her in a general-election match-up against Barber.
Political newcomer Shelley Kais remains in the CD2 Republican primary race.