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Arizona’s Kelly To Be Sworn Into Senate, Narrowing GOP Edge

WASHINGTON: Arizona Democrat and former astronaut Mark Kelly was set to be sworn into the Senate on Wednesday, an ascension that may slender GOP management of the chamber whereas underscoring his state’s shift from crimson to blue.

Kelly, 56, defeated GOP Sen. Martha McSally in final month’s election, making her one among solely three incumbents to lose. His arrival will scale back the Republican edge within the chamber to 52-48.

That can have scant impression on Majority Chief Mitch McConnell’s management over the chamber for the ultimate month of this congressional session. Nevertheless it units the stage for 2 pivotal Jan. 5 Senate runoff elections in Georgia.

If Democrats win each, they’ll command the 50-50 chamber for the brand new Congress that begins in early January as a result of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would solid tie-breaking votes.

Kelly was anticipated to be sworn into workplace by Vice President Mike Pence. Amongst these planning to observe have been his spouse, former Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz., and Scott Kelly, Kelly’s twin brother and fellow retired astronaut.

Kelly’s taking workplace is a political milestone for Arizona, which narrowly backed Democratic President-elect Joe Biden final month and could have two Democratic senators for the primary time since January 1953. That’s when GOP Sen. Barry Goldwater took workplace, barely a decade earlier than he grew to become his partys unsuccessful 1964 presidential candidate.

Democrat Kyrsten Sinema is Arizona’s different senator.

McSally was appointed to her seat in 2019 to interchange the late GOP Sen. John McCain. Her appointment lasted solely till final month’s particular election was formally licensed, which occurred this week. That cleared the way in which for Kelly to take workplace and fill the remainder of McCain’s six-year time period, which means Kelly will face reelection in 2022.

Kelly was parachuting right into a fractious lame-duck session wherein lawmakers and President Donald Trump are to date deadlocked over whether or not to supply a pre-holiday COVID-19 reduction package deal value lots of of billions of {dollars}. Theyre additionally making an attempt to deal with year-end finances work and a protection coverage invoice.

Kelly solid himself as a problem-solving centrist throughout his marketing campaign. His slender 2 proportion level victory over McSally suggests he might be a part of Democrats reasonable wing.

In what was one of many nation’s most costly Senate races, Kelly raised $89 million. That was second solely to the $108 million collected by defeated South Carolina Democratic Senate candidate Jaime Harrison, in accordance with the nonpartisan Middle for Responsive Politics.

Republican Cory Gardner of Colorado and Democrat Doug Jones of Alabama have been the one different Senate incumbents defeated final month.

The son of two law enforcement officials, Kelly is a retired astronaut whose profession included 4 missions to the Worldwide Area Station. He’s additionally a former Navy pilot who flew fight missions throughout Operation Desert Storm within the early 1990s.

Giffords was grievously wounded in a 2011 mass capturing wherein six individuals have been killed and a dozen others damage. She and Kelly grew to become main figures in unsuccessful efforts to stress Congress to strengthen gun controls.

Kelly would be the fourth astronaut to be elected to Congress. John Glenn was a Democratic senator from Ohio and Harrison Schmitt was a GOP senator from New Mexico. Republican Jack Swigert was elected to the Home from Colorado, however died of most cancers earlier than taking workplace.

Disclaimer: This publish has been auto-published from an company feed with none modifications to the textual content and has not been reviewed by an editor

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