Republican candidate, retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally, declared victory in the race for Arizona’s 2nd congressional district late Wednesday. Though she thanked voters and said she is looking forward to serving the district, McSally also acknowledged the looming recount. Arizona law requires a recount if a race is decided by less than 200 votes—McSally declared victory with a 161-vote margin. “While we still have a recount to go, we expect similar results and will provide the necessary oversight to ensure accurate results,” said McSally, the first female USAF pilot to fly a combat aircraft in enemy territory, in a statement. “I want to thank the voters again for their support and trust in me and look forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting to work from day one to serve Southern Arizonans in Congress.” But incumbent Rep. Ron Barber (D), the son of an airman, is not yet ready to concede to McSally. On Wednesday, Barber spokeswoman Ashley Nash-Hahn said, “A few days after asking a judge not to count the votes of hundreds of Arizonans, Martha McSally is ahead by seven hundredths of a percentage point. Arizona’s law calls for a mandatory recount with a margin this tight. Instead of declaring victory, we should unite in the commitment to count the votes of Southern Arizonans, and respect the outcome when it is final.” The recount will be the first general election congressional recount in Arizona history, reported the Arizona Republic.
These are the complete remarks by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III at the Reagan National Defense Forum, Dec. 3, 2022, in Simi Valley, Calif.