Sen. Mark Kelly Wins Reelection In Arizona, Edging Out Blake Masters

Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly has gained reelection in Arizona, edging out Republican Blake Masters in what was as soon as seen as a robust pickup alternative for the GOP.

Holding on to Kelly’s seat marks a key victory for Democrats of their quest to keep up management of the Senate.

Kelly, a former astronaut and husband of Gabby Giffords, got here to Washington in 2020 after profitable a particular election to serve out the remaining time period of the late Sen. John McCain (R). For months he led within the polls, however the race tightened considerably within the remaining days earlier than Election Day.

Masters, a 36-year-old enterprise capitalist who spent most of his profession working for billionaire Peter Thiel, ran an rebel marketing campaign with a concentrate on subjects fashionable among the many far proper, together with bashing crucial race concept and Massive Tech. An endorsement by former President Donald Trump helped Masters eke out a win within the GOP main amid a crowded area of candidates.

However Masters’ libertarian-leaning file and far-right positions have been considered as a drag on his marketing campaign. Whereas some Republicans selected a extra measured path, Masters declared his help for a nationwide abortion ban within the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court docket’s reversal of federal abortion rights this summer time. And he continued to echo Trump’s false claims that Joe Biden misplaced the 2020 presidential election.

Nonetheless, Masters gained traction with voters involved with excessive inflation and crime, which have been a few of the largest themes in GOP adverts this election cycle.

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Kelly sought to blunt assaults over rising inflation and the excessive price of residing by touting his help of Democratic laws reducing the price of pharmaceuticals and highlighting his opponent’s previous help for privatizing Social Safety. He additionally put some daylight between himself and the management of the Democratic Celebration on the hot-button situation of immigration, calling the scenario on the southern border a “mess” and “a chaos.”

Late within the race, Kelly was joined at a marketing campaign occasion by a number of members of McCain’s household, underscoring his appeals to impartial and Republican voters alike.

Nonetheless, Kelly was by no means a thorn within the aspect of his social gathering as a lot as fellow Arizona Democratic senator Kyrsten Sinema, who isn’t up for reelection till 2024. He embraced progressive priorities that Sinema opposed, together with proposals that will have raised the minimal wage to $15 and reformed the Senate filibuster guidelines.

Kelly was probably the most fashionable Democratic Senate candidates this yr ― at the very least with regards to fundraising. He went into October with nearly six occasions the amount of money available as Masters, and he raised greater than $52 million in whole up till that time, whereas Masters had introduced in slightly below $5 million. In consequence, exterior GOP teams have been pressured to step in and assist bail out Masters.

This text initially appeared on HuffPost and has been up to date.