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US midterm elections: Kelly’s win in Arizona leaves Democrats one seat out of Senate control
PHOENIX, Ariz.: Incumbent Democrat Mark Kelly beat Republican Blake Masters on Friday to win a U.S. Senate seat in Arizona, a contest that left Democrats one seat in the battle for control of the chamber with two more races to be decided .
Victory for Kelly, a former astronaut whose wife, Gabby Giffords, survived an assassination attempt while a US lawmaker, meant Democrats battled for a 49-49 tie in the Senate race .
“I am honored by the trust our state has placed in me to continue this work,” Kelly said on Twitter.
Control of the Senate — and the shape of President Joe Biden’s next two years in office — will now depend on contests in Nevada and Georgia. Biden’s party eschewed historic trends by limiting its losses in Tuesday’s midterm elections, shocking Republicans who expected big gains.
Democrats needed one more seat for control, since Vice President Kamala Harris can vote in the event of a tie.
In Nevada, incumbent Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto had come within about 800 votes of Republican State Attorney General Adam Laxalt. Georgia’s result is weeks away as incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock faces Republican Herschel Walker in the Dec. 6 runoff.
In the race for governor of Nevada, Republican Joe Lombardo beat Democrat Steve Sisolak, Edison Research projected. Sisolak conceded the run.
“Whether you voted for me or Sheriff Lombardo, it’s important that we come together now to keep the state moving forward,” Sisolak said in a statement posted to Twitter. “That’s why I contacted the sheriff to wish him well.”
Political analysts predict a rush for campaign funds in Georgia as Republicans and Democrats prepare for the final battle in the 2022 midterm elections.
In Arizona, law enforcement officials remained on high alert for potential protests, with barricades and security fencing erected around the Maricopa County Department of Elections, where dozens of officials are working 6 p.m. per day to check outstanding ballots and tally the votes.
Kari Lake, the Republican candidate for governor of Arizona, has slammed election officials in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous county, as “incompetent” and “despicable”, accusing them of deliberately delaying the vote count. votes.
Bill Gates, chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and a Republican, bristled at Lake’s comments. “Everyone needs to calm down a bit and lower the rhetoric. That’s the problem with what’s happening in our country right now,” he told reporters.
In the fight for control of the House of Representatives, the Republicans were closing in on a majority and ending four years of Democratic rule. It would give Republicans a veto over Democrat Biden’s legislative agenda and allow them to launch potentially damaging investigations into his administration.
Republicans had secured at least 211 of the 218 House seats they needed for a majority, Edison Research projected late Thursday, while Democrats had won 199. Most of the races where winners have yet to be determined are found in Arizona, California and Washington State.
Despite the real possibility of losing the House, Democrats have always applauded their success in limiting their projected losses after galvanizing voters angry at the Supreme Court’s decision in June to strike down the constitutional right to abortion.
Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy has already announced his intention to run for president if Republicans take over, an outcome he said is inevitable.
It’s unclear whether a McCarthy challenger will emerge, but some of the more conservative House Republicans have expressed doubts whether he still has enough votes to become speaker, the House’s most powerful official.
Meanwhile, Republican infighting in the Senate erupted into the open on Friday as senators called for a leadership election to be postponed from Wednesday so they have time to discuss why the party is not didn’t do better on Tuesday.
Mitch McConnell hopes to continue as Republican leader, despite sniping from former President Donald Trump and other conservatives.
Officials overseeing vote counting in the Arizona and Nevada Senate races, where Democratic incumbents are trying to fend off Republican challengers, said it could take until next week to count some 520,000 ballots. postal votes not counted. Most of them were in Maricopa County, which encompasses Phoenix.
Their work is hampered by the need to match signatures on mail-in ballots to voter registration signatures after large numbers of those votes are cast on Election Day.
Some of Trump’s most high-profile candidates lost crucial races on Tuesday, marring his Republican kingmaker status and leading several Republicans to blame his divisive brand for the party’s disappointing performance.
The result could boost the odds that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who routed his Democratic challenger on Tuesday, will choose to challenge Trump for the 2024 presidential nomination.
Although Trump hasn’t officially launched a third White House campaign, the former president has strongly suggested he will and is planning a “special announcement” at his Florida club on Tuesday.