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Arizona’s Mark Kelly defeats Blake Masters to win full US Senate term, CNN says

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Mark Kelly has retained his senate seat in Arizona, defeating Republican challenger Blake Masters, CNN and NBC said.

Mark Kelly (D-AZ) attends a campaign rally
REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
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Kelly, a retired astronaut and U.S. Navy captain, was elected to the Senate in a 2020 special election following the death of former Sen. John McCain.

Masters is a venture capitalist who is seen as a protege of billionaire businessman and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, who spent $15 million to boost Masters in the Republican primary. A political newcomer, Masters also had the support of former President Donald Trump.

Running a far-right campaign, Masters has echoed Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was fraudulent, and he promoted a racist theory that Democrats are trying to change the demographics of the country through immigration. He also opposes abortion and American aid to Ukraine.

Kelly ran as a moderate who is open to bipartisanship, and has criticized Biden on immigration issues. He became a staunch advocate for gun control after the 2011 assassination attempt of his wife, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.