The man who worked with congressional candidate Martha McSally to develop an interesting campaign strategy has been tossed under the bus by his boss. McSally’s communications director Sam Stone has been forced to resign now that the strategy has become public.
“Members of my campaign team are representatives of who I am, what I stand for and why I am running for Congress,” said McSally. “Because of that, my communications director, Sam Stone, has resigned his position with the campaign effective immediately.”
A few days ago, the website Politico, reported on the Republican candidate’s unorthodox strategy. McSally’s campaign crew and supporters were advising voters in the CD8 race to vote for the Democrat Ron Barber, instead of the Republican Jesse Kelly.
Their top notch thinking was that if voters voted for Barber in the CD8 Special Election, McSally could then face Barber in the CD2 General Election.
According to Politico, “Stone offered the Barber staffer his business card, which on the back had the following hand-written suggestions: Focus on social issues during the race’s final days in order to win the support of still-undecided independent (sic) and Republican women. Stone also told the Barber aide, according to her written recollection of the conversation, “We really want to see you win,” adding: “To be honest, I still want a job, so really go after those social issues, particularly abortion, with women who haven’t voted yet.”
Stone denied the details of the conversation, saying Politico’s story was a “mischaracterization” and it was really just a “polite conversation.” Stone said, “It was a surface-level conversation about ‘how’s the race going.'” Politico has since published Stone’s business card he handed to the intern with his advice scribbled on the back.
The ADI reported that Stone, shortly before the Special Election, was telling attendees at a grand opening of a senatorial campaign’s headquarters in Tucson, that he knew of data and that data showed Barber well ahead. Stone approached a reporter from the ADI and said that he had “talked to the guys” at the national party headquarters and they knew Kelly was going to lose.
Later, Stone denied that he was sharing data or discussing polls, telling Politico, “I had zero actual data on the Kelly/Barber race. The [National Republican Congressional Committee] and Kelly’s team were certainly not about to share information with a rival, and we didn’t do any polling of our own.”
McSally, who has said God told her to run, will now face political newcomer, Mark Koskiniemi in the Republican Primary for CD2. Matt Heinz, a popular doctor and state representative, will be facing Ron Barber in the democrat’s primary.