Mark Kelly Beats Trump GOP Pick Blake Masters, NBC News Projects

U.S. Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and his wife, former Congressman Gabby Giffords, daughters Charlotte, Samantha and son-in-law Mark Sudman wave during his election night rally at the Rialto Theater November 08, 2022 in Tucson, Arizona.

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Democratic Senator Mark Kelly will keep his US Senate seat in Arizona, bringing Democrats closer to control of the Senate, NBC News projected.

Kelly led Republican nominee Blake Masters, who was former President Donald Trump’s pick in the key swing state, by nearly six percentage points and 85% of the vote Friday night. With Kelly’s victory, the Democrats only need one of the two seats in Nevada or Georgia that have not yet been advertised.

In Nevada, Republican nominee Adam Laxalt led by 1 percentage point with 88% of the votes tallied Friday morning. The Georgia Senate race faces a December 6 runoff between GOP nominee Herschel Walker and incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock, who led by more than a percentage point.

Kelly raised and spent far more than venture capitalist Masters, raising over $81.8 million and spending over $75.9 million through mid-October. Masters, by comparison, raised $12.3 million and spent just $9.7 million over the same period, according to data compiled by the Federal Election Commission.

The Arizona Democrat fought on a platform of bipartisanship and promoted his willingness to work with Republicans across the aisle. He was elected to the Senate in 2020 to complete the term of Republican Senator John McCain, who died of an aggressive form of brain cancer.

Kelly recently distanced himself from his stance on immigration from the Biden administration when he opposed the decision to end Title 42. The policy, which began during the Trump administration, prevented migrants from entering the country due to Covid.

The Arizona Democrat has also been a strong advocate for border security. In a recent debate, he described the influx of migrants at the southern border as “a mess.”

“When the President decided he was going to do something stupid and change the rules that would lead to a bigger crisis, I told him he was wrong. So I’ve pushed that administration back multiple times,” Kelly said in October.

But Kelly was also chief negotiator on the CHIPS and Science Act, a key element of President Joe Biden’s economic policy, which was signed into law in August.

Kelly, a former NASA astronaut and Navy pilot, is married to former US Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who survived a gunshot wound to the head in 2011.


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