Shelley Kais, a Republican candidate for Congress in District 2 and a member of the Tucson Metro Chamber's Military Affairs Committee, called from the East Coast this evening to comment on the proposed A-10 retirement.

It was too late to put her comments in the Tuesday paper alongside incumbent Ron Barber's, but let's get to Kais's bottom line on this issue. "Cutting the A-10 is a big mistake," she said.

This is one area where Kais and Barber agree.

The F-35 isn't ready and can't replace the A-10's close-air support mission, Kais said.

The A-10 has served us well on the battlefield and "we need to keep the A-10 and keep it in Tucson," she said.

But at the same time, Kais thinks local leaders need to be forward looking and check out other mission opportunities for Davis Monthan Air Force Base, such as the new KC-46 refueling and transport planes.

The Star placed two calls to each Republican candidate in District 2 on Monday to ask about the A-10. Martha McSally and Chuck Wooten could not be reached for comment by Monday evening.

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