McSally ad features former aide recounting battle with cancer

Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyEx-McSally aide pleads guilty to stealing over 0K in campaign funds Arizona state senator announces bid for Kirkpatrick's seat Democratic Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick says she won't seek reelection MORE (R-Ariz.) has released a new campaign ad featuring testimony from a former aide recounting her battle with cancer.

In the ad, Kristen Douglas recounts her experience battling brain cancer and the hospital bills that came after. Douglas said she was dropped by her private insurer because she had a preexisting condition.

“Martha McSally will fight tirelessly to make sure people with pre-existing conditions are insured,” Douglas said in the ad, which shows the two women hugging.


While Douglas says in the ad that her path "collided" with McSally's just weeks after receiving a clean bill of health, the ad itself does not disclose that she has worked for the senator, The Arizona Republic reported.

In 2014, Douglas was a campaign manager for McSally’s House race and later worked as her deputy chief of staff for two years while she was in Congress.

McSally’s campaign manager Dylan Lefler told The Arizona Republic that McSally and Douglas have been close for years.

“After winning her battle with cancer, Kristen met Martha and was inspired by her message,” Lefler said in a statement. “She eventually decided to work for Martha serving the people of Arizona. ... Kristen has known Martha for over a decade and when she heard the lies being spread across Arizona, she decided to speak up and share her first-hand experience about how Martha has fought for individuals with pre-existing conditions.”

While in the House, McSally staunchly opposed the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which among other things prohibited insurers from charging those with pre-existing conditions higher premiums.

McSally supported the American Health Care Act of 2017, a GOP-backed bill that prohibited insurers from denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions but allowed them to charge higher premiums. Earlier this year McSally introduced a bill to lower drug prices. 

The topic has come up as she faces a steep challenge from Democrat Mark Kelly, a former astronaut who has out-raised McSally so far in the Senate race.

In 2014, Douglas described the ACA to the Republic as “an experiment in social engineering that discourages genuine competition, is funded by mandates, penalties and taxes.”