Mark Kelly sworn in as US senator, flipping Arizona seat from red to blue

While different senators-elect can have to wait till January to be sworn in for the brand new Congress, Kelly was ready to take the oath of workplace immediately since he received a particular election.

A Kelly aide informed CNN earlier in the day that Kelly can be sworn in along with his spouse, former Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords, and his two daughters by his aspect, and that his twin brother, Scott Kelly, and household mates would even be attending.

Party management of the Senate nonetheless has but to be decided and now hinges on two Georgia runoffs set for January. Securing the seat from Arizona is nonetheless a serious victory for Democrats, who had set their sights on it as considered one of their early prime pickup alternatives in 2020.

The particular election victory marks a second of triumph for Kelly, a retired Navy captain and NASA astronaut, that comes in the aftermath of tragedy.

Kelly was thrust into the nationwide highlight in 2011 when his spouse, Arizona’s then-US Rep. Gabby Giffords, was shot in the pinnacle and almost killed, an occasion that despatched shock waves all through the nation.

He later changed into a political activist, launching a gaggle known as Americans for Responsible Solutions alongside his spouse and combating for gun management insurance policies like common background checks and so-called red flag laws.

“I learned a lot from being an astronaut. I learned a lot from being a pilot in the Navy, ” Kelly stated in his marketing campaign announcement video. “But what I learned from my wife is how you use policy to improve people’s lives.”

His entry into politics has marked the beginning of a brand new chapter in an already esteemed profession.

Kelly flew into area 4 occasions, twice as commander of an area shuttle. He and his similar twin, Scott Kelly, who can also be an astronaut, participated in a one-of-a-kind “twin study” to see what spaceflight does to the human physique.

Mark Kelly can also be a retired Navy captain and pilot who flew 39 fight missions in the primary Gulf War.

After prevailing over McSally in the particular election, he’ll serve out the remaining two years of the late Sen. John McCain’s time period. He will probably be ready to run for reelection to serve a full time period in 2022.

McSally, the Air Force’s first feminine pilot to fly in fight, was appointed to fill the seat after she narrowly misplaced a race to Sinema for Arizona’s different Senate seat in 2018.

Sending two Democrats to Washington will mark a primary in almost 70 years for Arizona.

Democrats have made inroads in the state lengthy thought-about a conservative stronghold however which has more and more grow to be a extremely contested battleground. President-elect Joe Biden received the state final month in one other main victory for the Democratic Party.

Mark Kelly, who will be sworn in as a US senator on Wednesday, and his wife, former Rep. Gabby Giffords, visit the gravesite of the late Sen. John McCain in Annapolis, Maryland, on Tuesday.

Kelly has stated that serving the rest of McCain’s time period is deeply vital to him, describing the late senator as somebody he seemed up to when he was a 22-year-old pilot in flight college.

On Tuesday, Kelly and Giffords visited McCain’s gravesite in Annapolis to pay their respects earlier than he’s sworn in as we speak.

“Senator McCain has been a hero of mine since I was a young pilot,” Kelly tweeted, “He left a legacy of service to Arizona and country that can’t be matched, but that we should all strive towards.”

Kelly has just lately spoken to Cindy McCain and expressed his need to use McCain’s desk in his Senate workplace.

This story has been up to date with extra developments Wednesday.

CNN’s Ali Zaslav contributed to this report.

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