Former Astronaut Takes Arizona Senate Seat
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Mr Kelly, who is married to former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, will be one of two Arizona Democrats in the Senate, with Mr Kelly filling a seat once held by former GOP presidential candidate John McCain.
Mr Kelly secured the seat with 53.4 per cent of the vote, according to Associated Press. He won some 179,000 more than votes than his rival.
His win as Democrats hope to push closer to a majority in the Senate follows Democratic presidential candidate Joe Bidens victory in Arizona, which Donald Trump carried in 2016.
Itâs the second election night contest in which a Democrat beat a GOP incumbent. The other was in Colorado.
A Look At The Claims:
NATIONAL REPUBLICAN SENATORIAL COMMITTEE: In Tucson, Mark Kellys company promised 400 jobs to get $15 million bucks from taxpayers. That promise? Just hot air.â
THE FACTS: Thats a misrepresentation of a deal that Pima County government officials struck with World View, which makes and uses high-altitude balloons that collect data from above the Earths surface.
Rather than hand over money to the company from taxpayers, Pima County offered to build a new headquarters, manufacturing facility and launch pad in order to entice the company to stay, when it was considering relocating from Tucson, Arizona, in 2016.
The county agreed to spend up to $15 million plus $5 million in interest over time on the new facilities. World View didnt get the new digs for free. It pays rent to the county.
Four years into the deal, World View has so far paid over $2.3 million to Pima County, according to John Moffatt, the countyâs economic development director. By the time World Views 20-year lease is up, it is scheduled to have paid the county more than $23 million for rent, according to county documents reviewed by The Associated Press.
World View, however, hasnt met the rosy job projections the company initially made when the county offered to build its headquarters.
Its constant, Moffatt said of TV ads running about World View in the Senate race. And they continue to misrepresent. Pima County gets painted black with this too.
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Ballot Processing Pima County
An election worker scans a ballot while doing the first check of the signature while processing ballots at the Pima County Elections Office located at 6550 S Country Club Rd, on Nov. 4, 2020. If the signature matches what the office has on file the ballot will move on to be counted. If the signature does not match it will be moved to a special desk where workers investigate the signature by following up with the voter.
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Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich Launches Bid To Unseat Sen Mark Kelly
PHOENIX Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced Thursday hes running for U.S. Senate, becoming the third major candidate seeking the Republican nomination to take on Democrat Mark Kelly.
Brnovich, who is in his second term as the states top law-enforcement officer, is the best-known GOP candidate and the only one with political experience.
In a video announcement, Brnovich described himself as the son of immigrants who fled communism in Yugoslavia. He says he used his post as attorney general to take on crony capitalists and government overreach, while promoting religious liberty, border security and election integrity.
We need an Arizona conservative in Washington who stands up for us and our values, Brnovich said in the video. Someone whos been tested. Someone who wont go run and hide at the first sign of trouble.
Could Kelly Win Liberal Base In Primary
Democratic candidates stances on Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and income equality are emerging as the new litmustests for progressives.
Kelly has not talked at length about those two issues but has put the need to address climate change front and center of his Senate roll-out, and Democrats have applauded his pledge to not accept donations from corporate political-action committees.
Regardless of whether there is an intense primary, Kelly is already working to brand himself as a problem-solver and collaborator who doesnt approach issues through partisan lenses.
Still, Kellys 2012 participation in the Republican primary almost certainly will be weaponized by both Republicans and Democrats.
But if he makes it to the November 2020 general election,Kelly could use his GOP history to his benefit as an indicator of his independence and willingness to cross party lines.
Thats a little disturbing, said Dan ONeal, a retired teacher who lives in Gilbert and is the state coordinator for Progressive Democrats of America. We support people who are strong on our issues, and if he was voting as a Republican at one point, that would cause us to certainly be concerned, and wed like to sit down and talk to him.â
Were Kelly to win the primary election, those affiliated with the progressive group are going to support him for sure, ONeal added.
During her last race, McSally leaned into Trump and his policies while aggressively attacking Sinema.
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Democrat Mark Kelly Defeats Republican Martha Mcsally In Arizona Senate Race
Democrat Mark Kelly has defeated Republican Sen. Martha McSally in Arizona, NBC News projected on Friday, giving Democrats a Senate pickup in the state.
Kelly, a former NASA astronaut, declared himself the winner earlier in the week.
“I am deeply honored that Arizonans have trusted me to be their next United States Senator and to serve in this seat once held by Senator John McCain,” he said in a series of tweets Wednesday night.
“We woke up today still facing a pandemic, a struggling economy, and deep division in our country,” he wrote. “We need to slow the spread of the virus, get our economy back on track, and defend health care protections for people with pre-existing conditions. And I know that together, we can.”
Kelly, 56, is the husband of former Rep. Gabby Giffords, who survived being shot in the head in 2011 at a constituent event. The couple founded the Giffords Foundation, which supports gun control laws around the country.
The win puts both of the states Senate seats in the hands of Democrats – Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema, who was elected in 2018. Sinema congratulated Kelly in a tweeted statement Wednesday. “I am confident Mark will uphold the Arizona values of seeking common ground and putting country above party,” she wrote.
Kelly, in his first bid for public office, ran as a moderate who would be above the partisan bickering in Washington.
McSally trailed Kelly in the polls throughout the race and raised significantly less money.
Data And Science Have Driven My Life’s Work
I bring a different set of experiences as a combat pilot, engineer and astronaut. I have spent my life using data and science to solve problems and accomplish difficult missions. Thats the experience I can bring to the Senate to work for Arizona.
So many Arizonans are losing sleep because they cant afford their health care, because they arent working during this pandemic, because their kids are struggling with virtual learning. But looking at the response from Washington, you wouldnt know it.
Its been six months since the Senate passed the last COVID-19 relief package, and since then, they have gone on vacation four times.
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Will Sen Mark Kelly Finally Be Forced To Take A Position On The Filibuster
Sen. Mark Kellys days of hiding behind Sen. Kyrsten Sinemas skirts soon may be coming to a close.
It appears Arizonas junior senator is about to be outed by his own party, forced to take an actual position on a controversial issue.
On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., vowed to force a vote on changes to the Senates filibuster rule by Jan. 17 if Republicans continue to block the Democratic Partys bill to protect voting rights.
Over the coming weeks, the Senate will once again consider how to perfect this union and confront the historic challenges facing our democracy, Schumer wrote, in a letter to Senate Democrats. We hope our Republican colleagues change course and work with us. But if they do not, the Senate will debate and consider changes to Senate rules on or before January 17, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
United States House Of Representatives
After the Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out Pennsylvania’s original congressional map in February 2018, Kelly’s district was renumbered as the 16th and made slightly more compact. It regained the eastern portion of Erie County that had been drawn into the 5th. To make up for the increase in population, its southern portion was pushed to the west, leaving Kelly’s hometown of Butler just barely inside the district.
PoliticsPA wrote that the new 16th was far less safe for Kelly than the old 3rd, citing a Public Policy Polling poll showing Kelly with a 48% to 43% lead over Democratic opponent Ron DiNicola, below the threshold to be considered safe for a fourth term. Additionally, while Trump carried the old 3rd with 61 percent of the vote, he would have carried the new 16th with 58 percent of the vote. However, Nate Cohn of The New York Times had suggested earlier that Kelly would have been in more danger had the 16th absorbed more Democratic-leaning territory northwest of Pittsburgh. Ultimately, much of this territory had been drawn into the reconfigured 17th district .
Kelly ultimately defeated DiNicola 51.6%â47.2%, his first close contest since his initial run for the seat.
What Is The Background
Kelly is running against Sen. Martha McSally in a close race to take control of the seat that was left vacant by McCains death two years ago. Sen. Jon Kyl , McCains appointed successor, resigned in late 2018, and McSally was appointed to occupy the seat, taking office in January 2019.
The race is critical for Republicans, who are fighting to maintain their majority in the Senate. Republicans essentially hold a three-seat majority, and they cannot afforded to cede ground to Democrats.
The race has taken on even more importance in the wake of Ruth Bader Ginsburgs death. If Republicans cannot confirm Ginsburgs successor, Amy Coney Barrett, quickly enough, the party may have one less vote in Barretts favor.
Thats because McSally and Kelly are competing in a special election to fulfill the final two years of McCains term. If Kelly wins, he could be seated as soon as Nov. 30 not in January 2021 like all other election winners.
Democrat Mark Kelly Flips Republican Senate Seat In Arizona
PHOENIX Democrat Mark Kelly won the Arizona Senate seat once held by John McCain, riding Arizonas changing electorate to flip a Republican Senate seat in a state long dominated by the GOP.
Arizona will send two Democrats to the Senate for the first time in nearly 70 years when Kelly joins Kyrsten Sinema in Washington.
Kelly, a former astronaut, defeated Republican Martha McSally, who was appointed to the seat by GOP Gov. Doug Ducey after McCains death in 2018.
In his first run for political office, Kelly positioned himself as a pragmatic centrist with no patience for Washington partisanship. When the coronavirus pandemic struck, he retreated to mostly online outreach, minimizing face-to-face campaigning while blasting McSally and President Donald Trump for allowing the pandemic to get out of control.
The work starts now. And we desperately need Washington to work for Arizona, Kelly told a small group of family and reporters gathered for his victory speech in Tucson. My top priority is making sure we have a plan to slow the spread of this virus, and then getting Arizona the resources our state needs right now.
Kelly flew four space shuttle missions and leaned heavily on his NASA background in campaign ads and speeches, but hes perhaps best known in Arizona as the husband of former Democratic U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head in an assassination attempt during a constituent event in Tucson in 2011.
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Democrat Mark Kelly To Be Sworn In As Senator This Week
Washington Mark Kelly, a Democrat who defeated incumbent Republican Senator Martha McSally in the Arizona Senate race earlier this month, will be sworn in Wednesday at 12 p.m. ET, according to a senior Democratic aide.
Kelly and McSally went head-to-head in a special election November 3 to determine who will finish the remainder of the late Senator John McCain’s six-year term, which ends in 2022. McCain, a Republican, died in 2018, and McSally was appointed by Governor Doug Ducey.
Kelly’s win over McSally flipped a key seat for Democrats, who are working to take control of the Senate and give the party full control of two branches of government in Washington. But whether Democrats are successful in wrestling the majority from the GOP will not be determined until early January with the results of two runoff elections in Georgia, where incumbent Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler are vying to hold their seats.
Still, once Kelly is sworn in as a U.S. senator this week, Democrats will hold 48 seats to Republicans’ 52. His victory also gives Democrats both of Arizona’s Senate seats for the first time in nearly 70 years. Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who defeated McSally in 2018, holds the other seat.
What Are The Details
In an essay for the Arizona Republic, Tom Stafford, Charlie Duke, and Jack Lousma who have spent about 2,400 hours in space combined endorsed McSally and explained why Kelly is unfit for the job.
Of McSally, they wrote:
McSally delivered results for Arizona. Just look at the stats: She was ranked as one of the most bipartisan senators last year and tied for the most bills passed into law. Just this year, she introduced legislation to lower the cost of prescription drugs, started the national Veterans Treatment Courts to help improve the lives of veterans, and she helped write the legislation that gave families and small businesses help to get through the novel coronavirus. Whether its helping secure funds for Fort Huachuca, leading on the Drought Contingency Plan or getting Congress to pass land exchanges that give local control back to Arizona, Martha springs into action when her constituents reach out to her with a problem.
On the other hand, the astronauts blasted Kelly, writing that having astronaut on your resume does not mean youd be a good U.S. senator.
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Former Astronaut Mark Kelly Sworn In As Arizona’s Newest Us Senator
Kelly will fill the remainder of the late Sen. John McCain’s term.
Mark Kelly was sworn in as Arizona’s second Democratic senator Wednesday afternoon, shaving the Republican’s majority by one vote for the final weeks of the lame-duck session and marking the first time the state has had two Democrats in the Senate in 67 years.
On the Senate floor, Kelly was escorted to the dais by fellow Arizona Democrat Sen. Kyrsten Sinema where Vice President Mike Pence, as Senate president, delivered the oath of office. All three kept their masks on for the entirety of the swearing-in as Kelly stood six feet back from the vice president with his hand on a Bible.
When the vice president said, “Congratulations,” Kelly was met with applause from members on both sides of the aisle. There were roughly a dozen Republicans in the chamber at the time, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who shared an elbow bump with Kelly, as did Pence.
Former Rep. Gabby Giffords, Kelly’s wife, watched from seating above the chamber. After the official swearing-in, Kelly moved to the Old Senate Chamber for a photo op.
“This is an honor for me,” Pence told him there, according to a pool reporter present. Giffords also let out a brief, celebratory “woo!” after the ceremonial swearing-in.
Kelly defeated GOP Sen. Martha McSally by more the 78,000 votes in a special election to serve out the remainder of the late Sen. John McCain’s term which runs until Jan. 2023.
First We Must Get Covid
The truth is that weve got a public health crisis, which spurred an economic crisis, and both have been made worse by a crisis of leadership.
Cases are rising in Arizona and across the country for the third time, and Arizonans are still asking: whats the plan?
First, weve got to deal with the crisis in front of us by controlling the spread of the virus. That requires a national strategy with more testing and contact tracing, and that works with states to ensure that everyone follows public health guidance like wearing masks and social distancing.
This pandemic has pushed our health care system to the brink, and its critical that we lower the cost of health care for Arizonans and defend protections for those with preexisting conditions. When getting the novel coronavirus could mean a lifetime with a preexisting condition, these protections have never been more important.
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Arizona Democrat Mark Kelly Sworn In As Newest Senator
Kelly is a former astronaut and U.S. Navy Captain and is married to former Rep. Gabby Giffords.
12/02/2020 02:25 PM EST
Democrat Mark Kelly of Arizona was sworn in Wednesday as the newest member of the Senate, bringing the GOP majority down to 52-48.
Kelly, a former astronaut and U.S. Navy Captain, beat GOP Sen. Martha McSally in a special election this November. While Kelly has never held public office before, he was widely viewed as a star recruit for the Democratic party this election cycle and is married to former Rep. Gabby Giffords , who is now an advocate for stricter gun laws after survivinga 2011 assassination attempt.
The Arizona Democrats arrival to the Senate during the lame duck session comes as Senate Republicans are aiming to confirm a series of executive and judicial branch appointees who will outlast President Donald Trump. Republicans slightly smaller majority leaves them little room for error on any potential controversial nominees and Kellys arrival to the Senate essentially kills Judy Sheltons nomination to the Federal Reserve.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer welcomed Kelly to the Senate ahead of his swearing in.
Kelly will serve the remainder of the late GOP Sen. John McCains final two years, and immediately run again for re-election in 2022. Throughout his Senate campaign against McSally, Kelly proved himself to be a prolific fundraiser.
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