Washington, Feb.16 (ANI): Former Republican presidential candidate John McCain has once again sought the help of his ex-running mate and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to defend his Arizona seat.
According to The Telegraph, McCain is facing the strongest challenge yet to his 24-year tenure in the US Senate.
"I'm looking forward to getting back on the campaign trail with my former running mate, and I know my fellow Arizonans will welcome her as well," said McCain.
"Sarah energised our nation and remains a leading voice in the Republican Party," he added.
McCain is battling against a right-wing challenge in the Republican primary from J D Hayworth, a former Congressman and talk radio host, who officially started his campaign with a rally in Phoenix on Monday.
Hayworth has noted a series of "campaign-year conversions" by Sen McCain on issues including homosexuals in the military, climate change, campaign finance and immigration.
He has lined up big-name conservative backers, including Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, who is known for his tough policies targeting illegal immigration and once put prisoners in humiliating pink uniforms.
Although he has a healthy 20-point lead in the polls, McCain knows that hardcore activists could hijack the primary in August as they plan to do against moderate Republicans in other states.
His decision to call in Palin is a sign of how seriously he is taking the threat posed by Hayworth.
A former television sports presenter, Hayworth served in Congress for 12 years before losing his seat in 2006. (ANI)