News 11’s Adonis Albright brings us the latest on the race
YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Ballots in Arizona are still being counted tonight, but one high-profile race has already been called.
This morning, the Associated Press called the race for Democratic Senate Candidate Mark Kelly, who is coming out ahead in last night’s election against Republican incumbent Senator Martha McSally.
The projected victory is an upset for Republicans in Arizona. The state has gradually moved from traditionally red to purple in the 2018 midterms. This election cycle, however, the results are leaning more blue.
In a speech Tuesday night, Kelly said he’s planning on fighting for all Arizonans, regardless of who wins.
“Some of you watching tonight did not vote for me, and that’s ok, I’m going to be your Senator, too. Because our state doesn’t need a Democrat Senator or a Republican Senator, we need an Arizona Senator. A Senator like John McCain, who I looked up to as a young NAVY pilot” said Kelly.
If Kelly wins the race, this would be a first in Arizona’s modern history where two Democratic Senators are representing the Grand Canyon state.
But perhaps the big question is if this suggests Arizona is moving in a different direction when it comes to politics.
Howard Blitz, a political science professor at Arizona Western College, said one election doesn’t necessarily suggest a paradigm shift.
“I don’t think you can say that this is going to be a trend now. I mean this is only one election, so it’s really kind of hard to say that this will now be a trend that Arizona is going to be Democratic from now on… What this does portend is that Arizona is one of the key states where the makeup of the Senate is going to be significant”, said Blitz.
In a statement Wednesday afternoon, Kelly said:
“While elections officials continue the important work of ensuring every vote is counted, I am preparing for the job of being an independent voice for all Arizonans, regardless of who they voted for. 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.”-Mark Kelly, Democratic U.S. Senate Candidate
McSally’s campaign, on the other hand, has yet to concede. The campaign issued a statement late Tuesday night, saying the race isn’t over because votes are still being counted.