Mark Kelly (D-AZ) was sworn in to the U.S. Senate by Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday afternoon, shrinking the number of Republican senators by one ahead of the January special elections, which will decide the Senate majority’s future.
Kelly, a retired astronaut married to former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords (D-AZ), beat Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) in a bid to fill the remaining two years of the late Senator John McCain’s final term. Kelly becomes the third senator — and the first Democrat — to hold the Senate seat since McCain died of brain cancer back in 2018.
.@VP Pence swears in @SenMarkKelly. pic.twitter.com/zUCcUjlJxz
— CSPAN (@cspan) December 2, 2020
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R), who appointed two different Republican senators to fill McCain’s seat prior to the November 2020 election, cleared the way for Kelly to be sworn in after he certified the results of the election on Monday afternoon.
With Republicans now holding a 2-seat Senate majority, the future of the Senate has turned to Georgia, where Senators Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and David Perdue (R-GA) will compete in dual runoff elections that will decide whether Democrats will have the votes to pass party-line legislation under a Joe Biden administration. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) recently underscored the significance of this when he declared on the streets of New York City that Democrats would “change America” after winning Georgia.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams plans to engage with Hollywood types on a weekly basis to inform them on how they can best leverage themselves to push out Georgia’s two Republican senators.
Earlier this month, Abrams said she is a strong believer in “the power of celebrity to cut through the noise of politics.”
“Whether it was in Georgia or in Michigan or Wisconsin, Arizona, or Nevada — states that faced aggressive voter suppression in 2016, 2018 — it was absolutely an important moment when they heard someone they saw not as a politician, which is an easy community to be suspect of, but those that they trusted as part of the way they think about how they organize their lives. It does indeed matter,” she said.
On the Republican side, President Donald Trump has explicitly warned voters not to stay home in January and recently announced that he plans to visit Georgia because of the importance of the election. He also suggested he may visit twice.
I’m excited to welcome @realDonaldTrump back to Georgia next Saturday for a rally with @Perduesenate & me! We will ALWAYS have his back — and I’m so honored he has ours! #gapol #gasen pic.twitter.com/7it5FYEuSP
— Kelly Loeffler (@KLoeffler) November 27, 2020
Loeffler and Perdue were recently joined by Vice President Mike Pence at “Defend the Majority” events in Georgia, where the vice president proclaimed that “the road to a Senate Republican majority goes straight through the state.”
Related: Trump Jr. Warns Georgia Voters To Ignore Activists Encouraging Them Not To Vote In Senate Races: ‘That is NONSENSE’