Mark Kelly, a Democrat, has won reelection in Arizona, edging out RepublicanBlake Masters in what was once seen as a strong pickup opportunity for the GOP.
Democrats were able to hold on to Kelly's seat in order to retain control of the Senate.
After winning a special election to serve out the last two years of John McCain's term, Kelly moved to Washington in 2020. The race tightened considerably in the final days before the election.
Masters ran a campaign with a focus on topics popular with the far right, including bashing race theory and Big Tech. Donald Trump's endorsement helped Masters get a win in the GOP primary.
Masters had libertarian leanings and was seen as a drag on his campaign. Masters supports a national abortion ban after the U.S. Supreme Court reversed federal abortion rights. He kept repeating Trump's claim that Joe Biden lost the election.
Masters gained traction with voters who were concerned about high inflation and crime in GOP ads.
Kelly used his support of Democratic legislation to lower the cost of prescription drugs and highlight his opponent's past support for privatization of Social Security to try to blunt the attacks on him. He put some daylight between himself and the leadership of the Democratic Party on the issue of immigration, calling it a mess and a chaos.
Kelly was joined at a campaign event by several members of McCain's family to emphasize his appeals to independent and Republican voters.
Kelly wasn't a thorn in the side of his party as much as Sinema, who is up for reelection in four years. He supported progressive priorities that Sinema opposed, including proposals that would have raised the minimum wage.
Kelly was a popular Democratic Senate candidate this year. He raised more than $50 million in total up until that point, and Masters brought in just under $5 million, but he had more cash on hand. GOP groups stepped in and helped bail out Masters.
The article was first published on HuffPost.