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Birthdate: March 22, 1966
Birth Place: Warwick, RI, United States
Residence: Tucson, AZ
Martha McSally was born in Warwick, R.I., and lives in Tucson, Ariz. She graduated from the Air Force Academy and earned a master's in public policy from Harvard University.
McSally served in the Air Force from 1988 to 2010, retiring as a colonel. She became the first female U.S. Air Force fighter pilot to fly in combat after military officials lifted the prohibition of women in combat in 1991.
She also was the first woman to command an Air Force squadron when she led the 354th Fighter Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson.
In 1999, McSally was selected for a legislative fellowship program. She worked on Capitol Hill and served as a national security advisor to Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl on issues including terrorism, cyber security and missile defense.
McSally has taught at the undergraduate level on international and national security issues.
She is single.
Martha McSally is a retired Air Force colonel who's a political newcomer and running in the newly redrawn 2nd Congressional District in southern Arizona.
She lost in the April 2012 special primary election for the state's 8th Congressional District seat to tea party Republican Jesse Kelly. McSally finished second among four GOP candidates, taking 25 percent of the vote.
Kelly lost to Democrat Ron Barber in the June 2012 special election to finish out the term of wounded congressman Gabrielle Giffords, and when Kelly decided not to run in the 2nd District primary, McSally quickly became the GOP favorite.
McSally held rallies in Pima and Cochise counties, telling voters that she will work hard to secure the Arizona-Mexico border and address the complex legal immigration system in the United States.
She then defeated another political newcomer, Mark Koskiniemi, with more than 80 percent of the vote in the Aug. 28, 2012 Republican primary.
On her campaign website, she says she has "demonstrated moral courage to stand up for what is right, regardless of the personal cost. We need pioneers to lead our nation into a brighter, more prosperous future."
She calls for reducing regulations, cutting taxes and stopping the influence of lobbyists in Washington. She wants to repeal the 2010 health care reform law and "focus on real reforms that lower the cost of health care for every American."
Source: Associated Press
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