Sen. John McCain took two steps forward today by naming a new campaign manager and filing his petition signatures to become an official candidate in his 5th U.S. Senate race.
McCain chose former chief of staff Mark Buse to run his re-election campaign. McCain is expected to face a tough primary challenge from former U.S. Rep. J.D. Hayworth.
The announcement was made after McCain met with Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett to file the paperwork needed to qualify for the ballot. He chatted with Bennett for a few minutes before turning to reporters to answer questions about immigration.
McCain said it’s unfortunate that Arizona has become the target of criticism by politicians across the U.S., including President Obama, who has said the state’s new immigration law could lead to racial profiling.
“The president obviously doesn’t get it. We need to secure our borders,” McCain said. “It’s the federal government who has failed to secure the border. So when (Obama) directs criticism at Arizona, the fact is, he is not fulfilling his responsibility.”
McCain said he thinks a comprehensive immigration reform package could begin moving through Congress this year. But he said he would only support such legislation if it made border security the top priority.
To accomplish that, McCain said, he and Sen. Jon Kyl have drafted a 10-point plan that they feel would adequately reduce the border violence and illegal border crossings that afflict southern Arizona.
McCain will face Hayworth in an Aug. 24 primary election. Former Tucson City Councilman Rodney Glassman filed paperwork on May 20 to qualify as a Democratic candidate in the U.S. Senate race.