New Jersey native, Democrat Mark Kelly flips Republican Senate seat in Arizona

New Jersey native, and Democrat Mark Kelly, has won the Arizona Senate seat once held by John McCain.

News 12 Staff

Nov 4, 2020, 10:57 AM

Updated 1,316 days ago

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New Jersey native, and Democrat Mark Kelly, has won the Arizona Senate seat once held by John McCain.
The former astronaut defeated Republican Martha McSally, who was appointed to the seat after McCain’s death in 2018.
Kelly rode Arizona’s changing electorate to flip a Republican Senate seat in a state long dominated by the GOP.
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Kelly was raised in West Orange and graduated from what was then Mountain High School. The former astronaut paid tribute to his roots, and remembered his parents, during a speech Tuesday night.
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“This mission has never been mine alone,” says Kelly. “I have to say it goes back much further than a couple of years. I wish my parents were here to see this tonight. Both of my parents were public servants. They were police officers in my hometown. My mother passed away in 2012, my dad in 2016. I wouldn't be here if it weren't for my parents, but especially, especially for my mom."
Kelly and his twin brother, Scott, have an elementary school in West Orange named for them. They were inducted in the New Jersey Hall of Fame two years ago.
Kelly flew combat missions for the Navy during Operation Desert Storm before becoming a test pilot and later an astronaut.
He's married to former Democratic U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who survived a gunshot wound to the head during a constituent event in Tucson in 2011. Kelly could be sworn in as early as Nov. 30. 
AP wire services helped contribute to this report.
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