Senate race winner Mark Kelly expects to be sworn in soon
PHOENIX – Arizona’s U.S. Senate race winner Mark Kelly said he expected to be sworn into office in early December, sooner than most because of the circumstances.
“After the canvass is complete, after the election is certified there’s a letter that’s transmitted so I imagine that first of week of December is when I’ll be sworn in,” Kelly said Thursday on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.
Kelly defeated incumbent Republican Martha McSally in the Nov. 3 special election. She conceded 10 days later.
McSally was appointed to the seat in late 2018, filling the vacancy created when John McCain died.
Because McSally was not elected, Kelly won’t have to wait until January to be sworn in like other incoming members of Congress.
Kelly will serve out the remainder of McCain’s term and face reelection in 2022.
The former Navy astronaut will join Kyrsten Sinema in Washington’s upper house, giving Arizona two Democratic senators for the first time in almost 70 years.
Kelly’s work has already begun. He announced his transition team a week after the election and has scheduled a coronavirus briefing Thursday with state health leaders.
Last week he spoke to an epidemiologist from the University of Arizona and a mathematician from Arizona State University about the virus.
“We were looking at the data, and what we expect, especially after we start to get individuals vaccinated,” Kelly said, adding he wanted options for mitigating the spread.
Key pandemic metrics have been rising in Arizona at a rate not seen since the first wave hit in June and July. Cases have been surging in the state since the beginning of October.
“If you go back to July, the Governor’s Office and local leaders took a lot of steps and it brought down the infection rate,” Kelly said.
“Now we’re seeing rising infections. It’s clear we have to take some steps and get us back on track,” he said.