TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is endorsing incumbent GOP Sen. John McCain.
Javier Palomarez, president and CEO of the national group, made the announcement Thursday, March 31, at an event in Tucson.
"We are pleased to endorse Senator John McCain, a true friend of America's Hispanic business community, longtime partner of our association, and someone who has served the Grand Canyon State with nobility and undeniable zeal," Palomarez said in a news release. "Our decision was an easy one. His contributions to our country alone merit our support and so much more."
McCain, 79, is running for a sixth term and is expected to face a strong challenge in the primary.
"I am honored to receive the endorsement of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce," McCain said in the release. "The Hispanic Chamber is the premier organization promoting economic growth and development of Hispanic businesses and entrepreneurs. Hispanic businesses are vital to Arizona's economy and add to the cultural fabric of our state."
State Sen. Kelli Ward announced in June she will run against McCain for the Republican nomination. The primary election is Aug. 30 while the general election is Nov. 8.
Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick has said she will run for McCain's seat.
Earlier, McCain held a town hall-style meeting with employees at Universal Avionics Systems Corporation on Tucson's south side.
He spoke about a number of issues, including stopping ISIS in Syria and Iraq and maintaining his stance that the next president should decide on a U.S. Supreme Court justice nominee.
McCain also stressed the importance of helping veterans who are struggling with post traumatic stress disorder and ensuring veterans receive the utmost care at hospitals.
"The long-term solution is a choice card for every veteran so that veteran can decide whether to go to a health care provider of his or her choice or to the VA. That would be the most important progress that we could make," McCain said.