Mark Kelly retained the Arizona seat in a critical win for the Democrats

The senator defeated the Donald Trump-backed Blake Masters after a campaign in which Kelly established herself as a moderate

Democrat Mark Kelly has won re-election in Arizona, defeating right-wing challenger Blake Masters in a critical race that puts Democrats one win away from securing control of the US Senate.

The Arizona race is one of a handful of contests targeted by Republicans in their bid to take the Senate 50-50. It was a test of the breakthrough Kelly and other Democrats are making in Arizona, a state once dominated by the GOP but which has emerged as a purple battleground.

Kelly's victory demonstrated that the Democrats' success in Arizona – Joe Biden beat Donald Trump in the state in 2020 – was not an aberration. Another Arizona contest, including the closely watched gubernatorial race between Democrat Katie Hobbs and Republican Kari Lake, is too soon to be called. called Friday night.

With vice presidential tiebreaking vote Kamala Harris, Democrats could retain control of the Senate by winning the Nevada race, which is too early to call off, or next month's second round in Georgia. Republicans must now win both races to take a majority.

Kelly, a former NASA astronaut who flew four times into space, is married to former US congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who inspired the nation with her recovery from a gunshot wound to the head during an assassination attempt in 2011 that killed six people and injured 13. Kelly and Giffords co-founded the gun safety advocacy group.

Kelly's campaign focused on winning state independent voters. He has at times attempted to distance himself from Joe Biden and position himself as a moderate opponent.

Masters, a 36-year-old Donald Trump-backed venture capitalist with no political experience, had denied the 2020 election results and repeated false claims of election fraud, but took his most extreme stance in the weeks leading up to Saturday.

Kelly first won election in 2020 to serve the remainder of John McCain's Senate term. He had the advantage as the incumbent and amassed more money than his opponent. Kelly maintains a narrow lead in the polls ahead of the election, although the gap has narrowed in recent weeks.

He said he would fight to protect access to abortion, which the majority of Arizonans believe is a right. On border security, the senator has sought to distance himself from the Biden administration, calling the situation at the border a "messy". Kelly advocated against ending Title 42, the Trump-era public health policy that used the Covid-19 pandemic as a justification to expel migrants at the southern border.

Kelly's 2020 victory gave Democrats both seats in the Arizona Senate for the first time in 70 years. The shift was driven by the state's rapidly changing demographics and Trump's unpopularity.

Kelly's 2022 campaign focuses largely on her support for abortion rights, protecting Social Security, lowering drug prices, and ensuring a steady water supply amid the drought, which has restricted Arizona's water flow from the Colorado River.

Masters, 36, is a venture capitalist with no political experience backed by billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel. Like other Republicans running for position statewide on the Arizona ballot, Masters disputed the 2020 election results and repeated false claims of election fraud. He falsely stated that the January 6 uprising was secretly directed by the FBI, had espoused the white supremacist "great surrogate" theory and blamed black Americans for gun violence.

But after emerging bruised from a contentious primary, Masters struggled to raise money and be defended for his contentious positions. After the primary, he removed some of his more controversial positions from his website, but that wasn't enough for moderate voters to decide the election. This article was written by EDUKASI CAMPUS. 

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