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Arizona Democrat Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick will challenge Sen. John McCain for his Senate seat in 2016.

Kirkpatrick, who represents the state's 1st congressional district, is a top recruit for Democrats, who are hoping to defeat the five-term Republican senator and former presidential nominee.

McCain announced in April that he's running for re-election.

This is a strong recruitment by Democrats – given the primary challenge that McCain could receive from his right, and given a larger electorate due to the presidential contest. Arizona remains red in statewide contests, but these are the best conditions Democrats could HOPE for in the state.

Kirkpatrick also becomes another female Senate candidate for Democrats in 2016 – there’s Tammy Duckworth in Illinois, Donna Edwards in Maryland, Catherine Cortez Mastro in Nevada, Kamala Harris in California.

In a statement, the National Republican Senatorial Committee said that Kirkpatrick "has been part of the problem in Washington."

"She doesn’t believe we should ‘second guess' President Obama which is why she supported ObamaCare, his trillion dollar stimulus that created jobs in China and cuts to Medicare," said NRSC communications director Andrea Bozek. "There is no question Ann Kirkpatrick has made life worse for Arizona families."

- Carrie Dann and Mark Murray