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Mark Kelly defeats Blake Masters in the midterm election Senate race in Arizona

Senator Mark Kelly, the former astronaut who won one of the nation’s closest statewide races two years ago, has won a full term, beating political newcomer Blake Masters in a result that could determine control of the US Senate.

In 2020, Kelly was sworn into office to fill the term of late Senator John McCain after a special election he won by less than three points.

Arizona’s reputation as a Republican stronghold has been shattered in recent election cycles, but a challenging national environment for Democratic candidates and a massive fundraiser in recent weeks for Masters — as well as the dropped Libertarian candidate and support from his Republican opponent — have narrowed the race from a double-digit lead for the incumbent to single digits ahead of Tuesday’s election.

A former Naval aviator, Kelly first entered politics as an advocate for reforming the nation’s gun laws after the 2011 assassination attempt on his wife, former Congressman Gabby Giffords. With a mediocre voting record in office, Kelly presented himself to Grand Canyon state voters as a level-headed consensus builder with a reputation for working with Republicans on Capitol Hill — and portrayed his opponent as a political newcomer in the pocket of far-right and seedy tech billionaires.

“I think we all know guys like that,” Kelly said in her only October debate on Masters. “People who think they know everything better than everyone else. You think you know more about abortion than women and doctors. In fact, you think you know more about Social Security than seniors. You think you know better than veterans how to win a war.”

“Guys, we all know guys like that and we can’t let them decide over us because it’s just dangerous.”

Masters, a bitcoin millionaire whose candidacy was largely funded by venture capitalist Peter Thiel, was originally a longshot for the Republican nomination. But a tight embrace of vote denial and anti-immigrant sentiment helped him defeat a crowded field of key opponents — even as his campaign was dogged by accusations of anti-Black racism, political nepotism, and flirting with 9/11 conspiracy theories.

Kelly, meanwhile, emerged as a moderate common sense who opposed corporate and extrastate interests controlling the state’s political future — and singled out dozens of Republicans who had backed his candidacy over Masters’.

“I’m so grateful for the broad coalition of Arizonans who understand that when we work together, we can accomplish more for this state,” Kelly said after announcing more than 40 such endorsements in August. “That’s what I do every day in the Senate, where my focus is on putting Arizona first — not just any political party.”

https://www.thedailybeast.com/mark-kelly-defeats-blake-masters-in-arizona-midterm-election-senate-race?source=articles&via=rss Mark Kelly defeats Blake Masters in the midterm election Senate race in Arizona

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