Democrat Mark Kelly Wins Arizona Senate Race Against Blake Masters

Acting Senator Mark Kelly defeated Republicans Blake Masters in the Arizona Senate race — a crucial victory for Democrats hoping to retain control of the upper chamber. After winning a special election last cycle to fill the remainder of the late Senator John McCain’s term, Kelly, a former astronaut and naval aviator, will now serve his first full term.

With Kelly’s victory in Arizona, Democrats are one seat away from retaining their Senate majority, with all eyes on Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada and Raphael Warnock in Georgia.

Arizona was never considered a safe bet; The state has evolved into a highly competitive swing state in recent years amid an influx of new residents into the state’s expanding metropolitan areas. Still, the state’s running Democrats face significant hurdles, with Republicans making up the state’s largest voting block.

Kelly came out on top thanks to a war chest in campaign funds; He raised more than $73 million, compared to just under $10 million for Masters, recent Federal Election Commission filings show. Some Republican groups, including Minority Leaders Mitch McConnell‘s Senate Leadership Fund, cut spending in the race to shift resources to competitions deemed more attainable for the GOP.

Around this time last year, given the political and economic headwinds facing Democrats, Arizona was being considered one of the GOP’s top picks in the 50-50 Senate. But master, a Peter Thiel Protégé with no political experience, proved a poor candidate for general election. After enduring a bitter primary battle — thanks to a confirmation from donald trump and $14.5 million in funding from Thiel — Masters spent much of the general election backing down from his previous hard-line positions, including billing himself as a “100% pro-life” candidate.

In contrast, Kelly campaigned for abortion rights throughout the General and made a campaign pledge recognized by Roe v. Wade introduced abortion protections, the ruling the Supreme Court struck down earlier this year. (Arizona’s current abortion laws prohibit most procedures from being performed after 15 weeks of pregnancy — a standard Masters says he would support statewide — while a stricter ban is being negotiated stateside.)

On immigration, one of the GOP’s key rallying points in Arizona, Kelly positioned himself to the right of his party’s leadership. During the race’s only debate, he urged the Biden administration to increase border security by renovating border fences and recruiting additional border patrol agents to Arizona. Democrat Mark Kelly Wins Arizona Senate Race Against Blake Masters

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