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Who is Donald F Henry, ex-husband of Arizona’s Martha McSally?

Bruno Cooke November 7, 2020
Who is Donald F Henry, ex-husband of Arizona’s Martha McSally?
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Recently ousted Arizona senator Martha McSally’s two-year annulled marriage to Donald F Henry sparked controversy in 2012. In 2020, people are still asking questions. Who is Martha McSally’s ex-husband?

The mystery of Martha McSally’s husband explained

No-one knows very much about Martha McSally’s ex-husband, Donald F Henry. Lasting only two years, the marriage is just one of many mysteries that surround the former Arizona senator.

In 2012, rumours circulated about the two-year marriage between McSally and Donald F Henry. Among those rumours was a persistent suggestion the marriage might have been politically and professionally motivated. 

Donald F Henry was an officer in the US Air Force at the time and the couple apparently met while working together.

Photo by Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Specifically, one HuffPost contributor described the marriage as a “sham”, designed to “grease the skids for an Air Force promotion in the late 1990s”.

The logic behind the idea seems to be that married citizens are more promotable. However, there is no evidence in support of this – as a phenomenon or in this specific case.

Why are people talking about McSally and Henry’s marriage and annulment?

The couple married in Tucson, Pima County, in 1997. They lived there for two years, each allegedly owning separate houses

In late November 1999, the same source claims McSally and her divorce lawyer (who was also based in Tucson) travelled 90 miles south to Santa Cruz County. There they officially annulled the marriage.

According to HuffPost, the annulment resulted in “very little division of property”. Santa Cruz County allegedly doesn’t keep an online record of annulments.

Martha McSally’s platform

According to Pamela Powers Hanley, a journalist writing for Blog For Arizona, there are “multiple inconsistencies in [McSally’s] platform”. 

Photo by Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

For example, her campaign literature assures voters she believes in the “sanctity of life”. At the same time, she seems to have recorded more than 325 hours as the pilot of a bomber aircraft.

She also, according to Hanley, “claims to fight for women’s rights”, despite opposing abortion “in nearly all cases, with exceptions for rape, incest and the mother’s health and life”.

McSally lost her Senate seat in the 3 November elections to astronaut and retired Navy captain Mark Kelly.

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com.