PHOENIX — Major General Michael McGuire became a fixture in our living rooms over the past year. Joining Governor Doug Ducey and Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ, McGuire was a regular contributor during their COVID-19 briefings.
As the Adjutant General of the Arizona National Guard, McGuire was in charge of the state’s logistical response to the pandemic. Under his command, 8,300 National Guard men and women stocked grocery stores, distributed personal protection, COVID-testing equipment, and delivered vaccines to the hardest-hit areas of the state.
The National Guard was praised for its work during the pandemic. When the General retired in April, many predicted he would soon set his sights on elected office. On Tuesday he officially announced he is running for the U.S. Senate as a Republican.
“I think we need seasoned leaders that understand how to manage in difficult times. And I think the nation is in a pretty difficult time right now,” McGuire said.
For McGuire, leadership begins at the Arizona border. As Adjutant General, he oversaw four Guard deployments to the border. One during the administrations of President Bush and President Trump and twice during the Obama administration. In each instance, the federal government paid for it.
That is not the case today. When Governor Ducey called the National Guard up to assist the current federal response at the border, he did it on his own. The Biden administration said it would not reimburse the state. Neither President Biden nor the Vice President have visited the U.S. Southern border since being sworn into office.
“Senator Kelly as a member of the party is not advocating or pushing them to do their federal duty to secure the southern border,” McGuire said.
That being said, McGuire does believe President Biden was the winner of the Arizona Presidential election. While McGuire calls the search for bamboo fibers nonsensical, he doesn’t think there was anything wrong with the Republican-controlled Arizona State Senate ordering a third audit of the Maricopa County presidential election results.
“Joe Biden won the count that was certified and canvassed,” McGuire said. “I think the audit that is going on, I hope it provides some clarity and greater confidence in the process.”
McGuire is the second announced Republican candidate for Senate. Solar business executive Jim Lamon is the other. State Attorney General Mark Brnovich is mentioned as another possible Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate.
McGuire says what sets him apart from the others is his leadership, which voters got to see first-hand for much of the past year. He will begin a six-month listening tour next week in Prescott.