2020 Arizona Senate Candidate Guide

Mark Kelly (Democrat)
Mark Kelly (Democrat)
Martha McSally (Republican - Incumbent)
Martha McSally (Republican - Incumbent)

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CAMPAIGN FINANCE – Require more disclosure of political donations?

Mark Kelly – Unclear. Refuses corporate PAC money because its influence has “poisoned our democracy.” Has taken lobbyist money.

Martha McSally – No. In 2016 voted against making it easier to see who was funding TV ads. In 2020 called for help from “conservative outside groups.”

CLIMATE CHANGE – Consider human-caused climate change a serious threat?

Mark Kelly – Yes. “Left unchecked, climate change poses a threat to Arizona’s economy and our way of life. … In 2018, Phoenix had 128 days over 100 degrees.”

Martha McSally – Mostly no. Humans have “likely” played a role in climate change but says technical advances including clean coal have decreased CO2 emissions, and can continue to do so.

CLIMATE CHANGE – Address as a top priority by taxing or limiting output of greenhouse gases?

Mark Kelly – Probable yes. Says “massive investments” in R&D of renewable tech will “create thousands of good-paying jobs in Arizona.”

Martha McSally – No. Opposed Obama Clean Power Plan, citing impact on Apache generating station. Voted against carbon tax. Opposes “a heavy-handed government approach.”

CONTRACEPTION – Require health plans to cover birth control?

Mark Kelly – Unclear. “I’m running to protect health care for all Arizonans,” including “any threat to women’s reproductive rights.”

Martha McSally – No. Co-sponsored 2018 legislation that might make birth control more accessible but would free health plans from covering it.

COURTS – Pick Ruth Bader Ginsburg replacement now or let November winner choose? See CEEP Supreme Court guide.

Mark Kelly – “Arizonans will begin casting their ballots in a few weeks and I believe the people elected to the presidency and Senate in November should fill this vacancy.”

Martha McSally – “This U.S. Senate should vote on President Trump’s next nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.”

COVID-19 – Agree with Trump administration’s reaction to the coronavirus crisis?

Mark Kelly – No. Need more testing and access to care. Should have used Defense Production Act to instruct U.S. companies to build critical medical equipment.

Martha McSally – Yes. Blames the outbreak on China and World Health Organization. In U.S. “everybody is trying to do the best they can” to save lives. Supported using the Defense Production Act.

COVID 19 – Support federal financial aid to help states and cities?

Mark Kelly – Yes. “Congress cannot let Arizona cities and towns go bankrupt in their fight against COVID-19 — that would only hurt Arizonans and our economy.”

Martha McSally – No. “This is not the time for states and cities … who have mismanaged their budgets over the course of many decades … to see you, as a taxpayer in Arizona, as a cash cow.”

EDUCATION – Support free or subsidized tuition for lower-income people?

Mark Kelly – Yes. Wants students to have access to higher education without “crushing debt” by providing more financial aid and lowering interest rates on federal student loans.

Martha McSally – No recent stand found. In 2012 opposed higher-ed funding but in 2014 said Congress should “bring the cost of education down and make it affordable and available.”

ENVIRONMENT – Tighten or loosen regulations?

Mark Kelly – Tighten. Calls loosening of regulations on power plants, drilling, and auto efficiency  “an unequivocal disaster” for the planet.

Martha McSally – Loosen. Led an effort in Congress to “rein in … overreaching EPA regulations” on water quality, carbon emissions, and ozone.

FINANCIAL REGULATION – Tighten or loosen regulation of banks and credit card companies?

Mark Kelly – No position found.

Martha McSally – Loosen. Voted for 2017 Financial Choice Act, which would have weakened Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

FOREIGN POLICYProhibit military attacks on Iran without Congressional approval?

Mark Kelly – Unclear. Supported U.S. killing of Iranian General Soleimani without such approval. “It’s good that he’s dead.”

Martha McSally – No. Voted against requiring Congressional authorization of attacks on Iran.

FOREIGN POLICYBlock arms sales to Saudi Arabia?

Mark Kelly – No position found.

Martha McSally – No. Voted against blocking arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

GUN CONTROL – Enact more restrictive legislation on firearms?

Mark Kelly – Yes. Gun owner co-launched “Giffords,” urging universal background checks to limit mass shootings and “keep guns out of the hands of stalkers and domestic abusers.”

Martha McSally – Mixed. Opposed closing loophole at gun show sales but has also supported banning bump stocks and denying guns to the mentally ill.

HEALTH CARE – Support Affordable Care Act (ACA), also called Obamacare?

Mark Kelly – Yes. “400,000 Arizonans … nearly got kicked off of their health care coverage when [House Republicans] voted to gut the Affordable Care Act.”

Martha McSally – No. Voted twice for repeal. “Obamacare is costing American jobs and driving up our debt.” Has said alternatives should protect pre-existing conditions.

IMMIGRATION – Create path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, including “Dreamers” brought to U.S. as kids?

Mark Kelly – Yes. Says Senate should give a path to citizenship now for “Dreamers” who’ve grown up here and “are contributing to their communities — just like my kids.”

Martha McSally – No. Previously supported path to citizenship, but now backs the “Securing America’s Future Act” that limits options to applying for “contingent non-immigrant status.”

IMMIGRATION – Support border walls and reduced immigration by limiting visas and asylum?

Mark Kelly – Mixed. Would strengthen “border security” with tech investments, well-staffed ports of entry and physical barriers “where effective.” But wants “fair and efficient process for immigrants who qualify for asylum.”

Martha McSally – Yes. Favored Trump decision to divert money from defense budget to help build the wall. Co-sponsored bill with tough immigration, visa, and border enforcement provisions.

IMPEACHMENT – Support U.S. Senate calling witnesses and voting to convict President Trump?

Mark Kelly – Yes. Says he would have voted Trump guilty on both articles of impeachment and “pushed to hear from firsthand witnesses.”

Martha McSally – No. Voted against Trump’s impeachment conviction and against calling witnesses. Called impeachment “disruptive and divisive.

LEGAL ABORTION – Keep legal or ban?

Mark Kelly – Legal. “Supports every woman’s right to choose how and when to start her family.”

Martha McSally – Ban. “I’m pro-life” with exceptions for rape, incest, and mother’s life.

LGBT RIGHTS – Support same-sex marriage?

Mark Kelly – Yes. “It’s wrong that LGBTQ Arizonans can be married one day and fired for that marriage the next day.”

Martha McSally – Mixed. Said in 2013 she believed marriage is between one man and one woman, but later accepted same-sex marriage as the law.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD –  Support Planned Parenthood receiving government funds for non-abortion-related care?

Mark Kelly – Yes. Endorsed by Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Will “reject efforts to make it harder for women to access vital health care services.”

Martha McSally – No. Voted to let states deny Medicaid funding to health care providers who perform abortions. Supported health care plan that would have cut Planned Parenthood funding.

POLICE/COMMUNITY ISSUES – Restrict police use of force and increase public oversight?

Mark Kelly – Mostly yes. Would reform policing with “action, transparency, and independent oversight,” and would address “racial justice issues in our country that threaten Black lives.”

Martha McSally –  Mixed. Supported incentives to not use chokeholds, add more bodycams, and improve de-escalation training, but not to ban chokeholds or no-knock warrants, or make it easier to sue for police brutality.

TAXES – Support administration’s $1.9 trillion (2017) tax cuts?

Mark Kelly – No. Opposes tax cuts to the wealthy because “I think we need to be looking out for the middle class.”

Martha McSally – Yes. Voted for tax cuts as U.S. Representative. Said average taxpayer in her congressional district saved $1,029.


Campus Election Engagement Project is a nonpartisan effort to help colleges engage students in elections. Sources include Votesmart.org, FactCheck.org, Politifact.com and candidate statements. Vote411.org and Ballotready.org offer guides to local races.