Arizona Republican Enters Senate Race With Top Gun–Themed Video: 'I Absolutely Refuse to Bow Down to Sharia Law'

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Congresswoman Martha McSally announced her Senate candidacy Friday in a head-turning video Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Republican Congresswoman Martha McSally joined the already crowded Arizona Senate GOP primary Friday morning by releasing a video already making the rounds on Twitter. McSally, who has been perceived by those handicapping the race as the Republican establishment's top choice, appears instead to be catering to a more conservative primary electorate.

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The first words uttered by the candidate herself are likely to turn a few heads.

"I absolutely refuse to bow down to Sharia law," McSally says, after a narrator discusses her successful fight against a U.S. military policy that required women to wear head-to-toe garb in Saudi Arabia. Sharia law is the religious law of Islam but has become a political punching bag for many conservatives.

McSally, who served 26 years in the U.S. military, also used her experience to hit out at the Democrats in the Senate in the video, saying, "after taking on terrorists in combat, the liberals in the Senate won't scare me one bit."

But Democrats aren't her only target in the video, as the congresswoman also boasts of putting Republicans in their place in another head-turning one-liner.

"I told Washington Republicans to grow a pair of ovaries and get the job done," she says in the video.

McSally is the second notable entrant to the race this week, following Sheriff Joe Arpaio's somewhat surprising Tuesday announcement that he, too, would be entering the primary. Both candidates join former state Senator Kelli Ward, who has been in the race since October.

The candidates will all be vying for the support of President Donald Trump, despite his low approval ratings, and McSally kickstarted her efforts to win his endorsement in her video by including a clip of the president saying, "my friend Martha McSally, she is the real deal ... she is tough." She wasn't done though, also explicitly tying herself to Trump.

"Like our president, I'm tired of PC politicians and their BS excuses," she says straight into the camera.

The Ward campaign isn't buying it, though.

"Martha McSally is Jeff Flake 2.0 and part of the Washington Establishment that has failed Arizona for years. She opposed Donald Trump as a candidate and has undermined him as president," Ward campaign chair Ed Rollins told Newsweek.

Democrats view the Arizona race as a strong opportunity to pick up a seat in their efforts to win back the Senate majority as incumbent Senator Jeff Flake is retiring at the end of the year. The Senate Majority PAC, a liberal group with ties to the Democratic leadership, wasted no time attacking McSally.

"As a member of the wildly unpopular Republican Congress, Mitch McConnell's handpicked candidate Rep. McSally has spent her career as a reliable vote for corporate special interests and Wall Street, not Arizona families," J.B. Poersch, the organization's president, said in a statement.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee also put out a statement attacking the entire Republican primary field.

"The Arizona Republican primary will be nasty, expensive and very long. It will drain the GOP's resources, demoralize their voters, and expose the flaws in each of their candidates," the statement reads.