Mark Kelly says party not a factor in whom he endorses for 2024 Arizona Senate race

Mar 10, 2023, 6:00 PM | Updated: 6:09 pm

PHOENIX — Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona did not want to get ahead of Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema when asked about whom he may support in the 2024 U.S. Senate race.

Sinema has yet to announce a run, and Kelly said there’s a long way to go. He just won re-election against Republican challenger Blake Masters in November.

But Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego already announced he will run for the former Democrat Sinema’s seat and got an early start campaigning.

“Parties, that stuff doesn’t matter to me,” Kelly told KTAR News 92.3 FM. “Sen. Sinema and I have worked very closely, and she is a very effective United States senator. We’ve worked closely on so many different things. But I am not going to get ahead of her on any announcement.”

Kelly campaigned as a candidate working for Arizona and not a political party last year.

He first took office after winning the 2020 special election over Republican Martha McSally after Sinema defeated McSally in the 2018 race to become Arizona’s first Democratic U.S. senator in more than two decades.

Sinema told KTAR News 92.3 FM in September that she fully expected Kelly to win reelection in November, which he did by nearly five points.

“We have partnered together very effectively in the last two years to make sure that folks out here on the east coast actually understand what it’s like to live in a border state and serve a border community,” Sinema said.

The two senators, along with 18 others, announced sweeping gun safety legislation in 2022 which passed. They also toured the southern border at Yuma in January.

Sinema announced in December her intention to register as an independent.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Tasler contributed to this report.

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Mark Kelly says party not a factor in whom he endorses for 2024 Arizona Senate race