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AZ-Sen: Ad campaign described as way to polish Martha McSally's image as a Trump supporter

A new poll shows that Rep. Martha McSally, a Republican hopeful for a U.S. Senate seat in Arizona, has a 20-point lead over her two competitors. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Reps. Martha McSally and David Schweikert are receiving support from a group with ties to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Karl Rove, powerful Republican allies who are striving to maintain their influence under the Trump presidency.

One Nation, a Virginia-based nonprofit "social welfare" organization, is airing commercials that feature the two embattled Republican candidates, the Arizona Republic reported.

What are the ads about?

The ads, which carry a reported $500,000 price tag, praise McSally and Schweikert for their work on border security.

McSally faces a competitive GOP primary race for a U.S. Senate seat and Schweikert is seeking re-election. Several Democrats are competing to challenge him in November.

Documents show that ads purchased by One Nation have contact information that is also used by American Crossroads, according to the report. Crossroads is also linked to Rove, a former political strategist for former President George W. Bush.

McSally hopes to replace Sen. Jeff Flake, who was “forced into retirement” in the Trump era.

McSally faces former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former state Sen. Kelli Ward for the Republican nomination in the Aug. 28 Senate primary. Her competitors have effectively branded themselves as being loyal to Trump, who has tightened his control over the party.

McSally is trying to re-brand herself as a solid supporter of President Donald Trump since she decided to run for the Senate.

What are her opponents saying?

Ward and others have criticized McSally’s about-face as an ambitious but self-serving career move.

"Karl Rove and the Never Trump establishment know they have to prop up Martha McSally because her support is stalling with primary voters," Zachery Henry, a spokesman for Ward's campaign, told the Arizona Republic."McSally’s record of personal attacks on President Trump, opposing the border wall, and her dozens of votes for amnesty and reckless Washington spending doesn’t appeal to Arizonans."

Chad Willems, Arpaio's campaign manager, accused the "D.C. crowd" of “trying to help McSally fool voters.”

"We’re not surprised by this. Martha McSally has had to flip-flop on the issues conservatives care about in a not-so-veiled attempt to remake her image," Willems told the newspaper.

"Obviously that’s not working, so along comes the D.C. crowd in an effort to bail her out. Arizona conservatives won’t fall for it."

McSally did not immediately respond to a request for a comment from TheBlaze.

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