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Arizona Candidate Apologizes After McCain Comments

Kelli Ward has been accused of insensitivity
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2018 6:45 PM CDT
Arizona Republican US Senate candidate Kelli Ward speaks to the media.   (AP Photo/Bob Christie, File)

(Newser) – An Arizona candidate for US Senate who came under fire after suggesting that John McCain's announcement he'd be withdrawing from cancer treatment was timed to damage her campaign has apologized. "I do understand how many could have misconstrued my comments as insensitive, and for this I apologize," Ward told reporters, per CNN. "The intention of my comments were in no way directed at Sen. McCain or his family." McCain died of brain cancer Saturday. In the hours before, Ward's aide, Jonathan Williams, mused on Facebook about whether it was "just a coincidence" the announcement of McCain ending treatment came the day Ward launched a statewide bus tour, per the AP.

In response to Williams' message, Ward wrote: "I think they wanted to have a particular narrative that is negative to me." Ward told reporters Monday that those comments were in reference to "the media" and not to McCain. Ward faces Rep. Martha McSally and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Tuesday's primary, in which she's regarded as the underdog in the Republican race to replace outgoing Sen. Jeff Flake. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey says he plans to announce his pick to replace McCain sometime after the senator's funeral services. (Read more John McCain stories.)

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