Arizona Senator Mark Kelly has won re-election, defeating Republican challenger Blake Masters in a closely watched race that could have major implications for control of the Senate.
Kelly’s victory was announced on Friday night, with the senator thanking voters in a statement.
“Thank you, Arizona, for entrusting me with the honor of serving you in the United States Senate,” Kelly said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to continue working on behalf of our state and the American people.”
The win is a major boost for Democrats, who are fighting to maintain their narrow majority in the Senate. With Kelly’s victory, the Democrats now have 51 seats in the chamber, while the Republicans have 49.
The race was closely watched, with both sides pouring significant resources into the contest. Kelly, a former astronaut and gun control advocate, campaigned on a platform of expanding access to healthcare and protecting the environment.
Masters, a businessman and protégé of tech billionaire Peter Thiel, ran on a conservative platform focused on tax cuts and deregulation.
In the end, it was Kelly who emerged victorious, winning by a comfortable margin of 5.7 percentage points with 83% of the vote recorded.
The win is a testament to Kelly’s popularity in Arizona, which has emerged as a key battleground state in recent years. It also underscores the growing power of Democrats in the Southwest, where the party has made significant gains in recent elections.
As the country continues to grapple with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and other major challenges, the outcome of the Arizona Senate race is likely to have significant implications for the direction of the country. With Democrats in control of the Senate, they will have more power to advance their policy agenda and push back against Republican efforts to roll back progressive policies.