Mark Kelly was sworn in this week as the newest member of the U.S. Senate, who gave Arizona two Democrat members to the House of Congress and temporarily shaved off the majority of the GOP.
Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema accompanied Kelly to a ceremony led by Vice President Mike Pence. Both men wore masks, as did Sinema, and hit his elbow when the oath was over, writes the Associated Press.
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Kelly’s wife and former Arizona congressman Gabby Giffords – who was mass-shot in the head nine years ago – walked into Kelly’s building and joined her twin brother, Scott Kelly, in the visitors ’gallery to watch the proceedings.
Following the ceremony, members postponed a photograph in the Old Senate Chamber where former astronaut Pence and Kelly discussed the military and NASA.
“It’s an honor for me,” Pence reportedly said. “Congratulation.”
Kelly, 56, appointed Republican Senate Martha McSally in November, narrowing the upper chamber’s GOP control to a 52-seat majority. Kelly was sworn in this week because she ran in a special election to fill the seat held by late Senator John McCain.
The other winners of the November general election will only take office in January, and Georgia’s election elections in the same month will ultimately decide the management of the chamber.
Kelly’s oath marks a new chapter in state politics. Arizona is historically red, but it has turned in favor of newly elected President Joe Biden, and it has become the key to the ladder of victory.
For the first time this year, there have been two Democratic senators in Arizona since January 1953.
However, Kelly himself described it as moderate. Centrism played a key role in his campaign, during which McSally tried to paint him as a radical, progressive parrot party.
As Kelly fills the remainder of the six-year term McCain won in 2016, she could be re-elected in just two years.
It is noteworthy that Kelly’s race was one of the most expensive in the country, eventually reaching $ 89 million.
Ever since McSally recognized the special election, Kelly has formed a bipartisan transition team – from both popular Democrats and McCain’s allies.
As cases of coronavirus proliferate across the country, Kelly’s top priority is fighting the pandemic. In a column published on Monday, he wrote that he was working with both parties to develop an effective strategy.
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Kelly told the Republic of Arizona on Wednesday that she felt great after taking her oath of office
“Work begins now,” he said. “What matters is what happens from now on and what I can do to improve people’s lives in Arizona.”