Kelly recalls McCain’s ‘bridge-building legacy’ in Phoenix victory speech



PHOENIX — Sen. Mark Kelly vowed to “put our state before politics” as he thanked his supporters on Saturday for electing him to a full six-year term.

In a victory speech in the courtyard of a Mexican cafe in Phoenix, Kelly repeatedly mentioned the name of John McCain whose seat he was elected to in 2020 to fill the last two years of McCain’s term after his death in power.

Kelly, whose campaign barely mentioned he was a Democrat, said he was following the “bridge-building legacy” of McCain, a Republican who was known to oppose party orthodoxy.

Kelly’s victory over Republican Blake Masters puts Democrats one vote away from retaining control of the Senate. But to get to 50 — with Vice President Kamala Harris capable of breaking a tie — Democrats must win one of the current standout races in Nevada and Georgia.

He wasn’t the only Democrat in a statewide race to claim victory even as the votes are still being counted.

Adrian Fontes edged Republican Mark Finchem in the race for secretary of state by more than 118,000 votes.

Finchem is yet to concede, saying there is a way to victory.

In his speech, Kelly criticized those who focus on divisiveness, although he did not mention former President Donald Trump or his supporters by name.

“We have seen the consequences that arise when leaders refuse to accept the truth and focus more on the conspiracies of the past than on solving the challenges we face today,” he said.

Like Finchem, Masters did not concede.

Neither did Trump, who in a post on Truth Social demanded a new election. He said “foolish and possibly corrupt officials have lost control of the tainted election in Arizona.”

Kelly said he hadn’t heard from Masters.

“I can’t wait to talk to her,” he said. “I think it was a very competitive race, and he had a good race and ultimately the voters made a decision.”

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