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Ducking Donald

U.S. Rep. McSally still not #ReadyForTrump

Democrats have been merrily pressing Rep. Martha McSally (R-CD2) on whether she supports Donald Trump at the GOP's presidential nominee.

McSally has sidestepped the question, no doubt hoping—like many Republicans (and especially GOP candidates)—that Trump would falter before winning the nomination. But Trump essentially clinched the nomination last week, and there are rumors that McSally would be an ideal candidate for the VP slot. A story in the online Fiscal Times noted that McSally is "not only a woman but a retired Air Force colonel who flew combat missions, a triathlete and a member of the Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees" who "could help bolster a Trump ticket's bona fides on national security and the fight against ISIS."

After the Weekly asked if McSally would be interested in a VP slot, she said via email that she's "still trying to make sense of it all" and she needs to give him a closer look before deciding if she can even vote for him.

"We're in unchartered waters with two presumptive nominees who are viewed unfavorably by the majority of Americans," McSally said. "More specifically I have concerns about statements Mr. Trump has made regarding women, but I also respect the will of the voters. So I'll spend the next six months if needed, watching closely, learning more about him and determining what kind of man he is before I decide whether to give him my vote. We have serious issues ahead of us and I hope this election becomes more about a battle of ideas and solutions while making the case for who should be the next commander in chief in a dangerous world."

With Trump as the nominee, Republicans don't know whether to spit or bake a cherry pie, as no one yet knows whether Trump will be damaging to the GOP brand and/or downticket races. Some Republicans—such as Sen. John McCain—are backing Trump publicly, even if they express concern behind closed doors. Some Republicans, such as McCain pal Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), have said they won't cast a ballot for him. And some, like Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, are withholding judgment but leaving the door open to supporting Trump down the road.

It's not surprising that McSally, a cautious politician in a swing district, is going with door No. 3. (Don't know how that affects her chances for ending up Trump's VP, which she didn't address in her statement to the Weekly, but it seems unlikely that she'd sign on to that kamikaze mission.)

Goodbye, Ann Day

Former Pima County supervisor killed in car crash

Pima County lost a gracious member of the political community last weekend when former Pima County supervisor and state lawmaker Ann Day was killed in a car accident.

Day, 77, was driving west on Ina Road when another car swerved into her lane and hit her car head-on. She was transported by ambulance to Banner-UMC Trauma Center, where she was pronounced dead.

Day grew up a cowgirl on a ranch that straddled the Arizona/New Mexico border between Duncan and Lordsburg. She had never run for office when she won a state Senate seat in 1990, although she was no stranger to politics. Both an ex-husband and a sister served in the Arizona Legislature; her sister, Sandra Day O'Connor, was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan. Day herself was the first woman appointed to the industrial commission by former Arizona Gov. Bruce Babbitt.

After a decade in the Arizona Senate, Day represented District 1 for three terms, from 2000 to 2012. In her time on the board, Day was a fiscal conservative who supported major initiatives such as the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan.

Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bronson, who served with Day all 12 years, said she will miss her "cowgirl" friend.

"I am terribly saddened at the news of Ann Day's tragic passing," Bronson said in a prepared statement. "She dedicated her life to public service, including honorably serving the people of Pima County for 12 years. She was my friend and colleague and I will deeply miss her cowgirl common sense approach to life and public policy."

Supervisor Ray Carroll also expressed sadness about Day's death.

"I want to offer my deepest and most sincere condolences to the family of such a lovely and capable public servant an outstanding citizen," Carroll told the Weekly. "Ann Day and I worked together on some very important issues and she was great. So far, I've never worked with any more of a fine person than Ann Day. She was elegant and circumspect yet relentless and very upfront about issues that were important to her."

McSally, who launched her Southern Arizona political career as Day was ending hers, said she was "shocked and saddened" by the news of her death.

"Ann was a true daughter of the desert and, like her sister, Sandra Day O'Connor, dedicated her life to public service," McSally said in a statement to reporters. "On the Pima County Board of Supervisors and in the Arizona Legislature, Ann demonstrated her commitment to good government and tackled tough public policy issues with common sense. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family."

And Sen. John McCain said he was "deeply saddened" by Day's death.

"With Ann's tragic death, our state has lost a tireless advocate who dedicated her life to public service—as a teacher, state senator and Pima County supervisor," McCain said. "A self-proclaimed lifelong 'cowgirl from Lazy B' ranch, Ann will always be remembered for her passionate and pragmatic approach that benefited so many citizens across our state."

Day was driving her Toyota Prius eastbound on Ina Road when another car traveling westbound crossed lanes, struck the median and hit her car head on.

The driver of the car that collided with Day's Prius was identified as Jarrad Barnes, 24. Barnes was also transported to the hospital but was released from UMC Saturday night and taken into custody. He was booked into the Pima County Jail for one count of manslaughter and driving under the influence.

Zona Politics with Jim Nintzel airs at 8 a.m. Sunday on the CW Tucson, Channel 8 on Cox and Comcast and Channel 58 on Dish, DirecTV and broadcast. You can hear the show on KXCI, 91.3 FM, at 5 p.m. Sundays or watch it online at zonapolitics.com. This week's guests include state Rep. Bruce Wheeler discussing the recently completed legislative session.


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