Republican Blake Masters congratulates Sen. Mark Kelly on victory

Nov 15, 2022, 3:01 PM | Updated: 3:16 pm
FILE - Republican U.S. Sen. candidate Blake Masters holds his son Rex, 2, as he speaks at a rally, ...

FILE - Republican U.S. Sen. candidate Blake Masters holds his son Rex, 2, as he speaks at a rally, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in Mesa, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

(AP Photo/Matt York, File)

PHOENIX – Four days after the Arizona U.S. Senate race was called, Republican challenger Blake Masters congratulated Sen. Mark Kelly on his victory.

“I called and congratulated Mark Kelly this morning,” Masters said in a statement Tuesday. “There were obviously a lot of problems with this election, but there is no path forward in my race.”

Masters was referring to tabulation issues for in-person voters at around 70 vote centers in Maricopa County on Election Day, Nov. 8.

He joined a lawsuit with gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and the Republican National Committee to keep the polls open three extra hours, but a judge rejected the request.

Maricopa County officials said the problem was addressed within hours and everyone was able to vote.

The Associated Press projected that Kelly would retain his seat after results were updated Friday night. The incumbent’s victory helped Democrats retain control of the Senate.

On Saturday, Masters said he would make sure “every legal vote is counted” and congratulate Kelly if he came out on top.

As of Tuesday afternoon, when Masters released his congratulatory statement, Kelly had a lead of more than 124,000 votes with no more than around 40,000 ballots left to be counted statewide.

Masters, a venture capitalist making his first run for office, emerged from a crowded Republican primary field on the back of an endorsement from former President Donald Trump. But like Lake, Arizona secretary of state nominee Mark Finchem and many other Trump-back GOP candidates, general election voters rejected Masters.

“To the thousands of people who helped on my campaign, who made calls, knocked on doors, wrote postcards, donated and hosted events — thank you,” Masters said Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Republican Blake Masters congratulates Sen. Mark Kelly on victory