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Mark Kelly says virus, economic crises in Arizona fueled by McSally faults

(Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic via AP, Pool)

PHOENIX — Democratic Senate candidate Mark Kelly said during Tuesday’s debate that a lack of leadership from U.S. Sen. Martha McSally helped fuel the coronavirus crisis and ensuing economic downturn in Arizona.

Kelly blamed McSally for following decisions from fellow Republicans President Donald Trump and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey throughout the COVID-19 pandemic that ultimately affected Arizonans negatively.

“Both of these things have been made worse by a crisis of leadership,” Kelly said.

The former astronaut pushed hard on unemployment benefits, a pressing issue considering thousands of Arizona residents have lost their jobs during the pandemic.

Extra unemployment benefits for Arizonans haven’t been available since early September and the weekly cap for benefits is $240.

Arizonans had been receiving a supplemental $300 a week from the federal government beginning in July following a Trump executive order but that money ran out after six weeks.

Arizona House Democrats last week called on Ducey to provide more coronavirus relief to Arizonans.

That included a weekly increase of $250 a week for unemployment benefits.

“We need independent leadership putting Arizona first, not more of the same from Washington, D.C.,” Kelly said.

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