PHOENIX (KSAZ) - The person standing between Senator John McCain and a sixth term as Arizona's Senator is not a newcomer to Arizona's politics. Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick has served as Arizona's Congressperson in District 1. She says McCain has changed and believes she can beat him.
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While some have speculated this could be the year John Mccain loses the senate seat he has held since 1986 -- the 80-year-old says he's feeling confident.
"He's vulnerable.. the race is neck and neck, the polls are tight, said Kirkpatrick, who says as she travels the state, people tell her they are worried about the economy and jobs. She says veterans and seniors issues are also a concern.
"I'm about common sense solutions that make people's daily lives better," she said.
As Senator McCain travels the state, he says water conservation and wildfire dangers are big concerns for Arizona.
The biggest challenge overall?
"Biggest challenge -- failed presidency resulted in a world that's on fire and attacks on the United States of America," he said.
Kirkpatrick says McCain has changed and is no longer the maverick he once was. She also says there is definitely a negative Trump effect for the Senator who has not disavowed Trump.
"I mean it's unbelievable to me that Trump can say such hateful, racist, insulting things and John McCain still supports him."
Though asked repeatedly about disavowing the controversial Republican presidential nominee, McCain so far has not done so.
"I support the nominee of the party and I'll tell you what, anytime from now on if that question is asked, if I change my mind, I'll let you know," he said.
The Senator says he does not think Trumps' controversies will hurt him as he pursues a sixth term as Arizona's senator.
The people of Arizona know me very well. They will judge me by my service to them and the state of Arizona."