Why Hasn't Senator Martha McSally Conceded To Mark Kelly? UPDATE: She Finally Did

Senator Martha McSallyEXPAND
Senator Martha McSally
Gage Skidmore, CC 2.0
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Update (11/13): Roughly a week after major news networks called the Arizona Senate race for Democrat Mark Kelly, Republican Senator Martha McSally has finally admitted defeat.

In a statement issued by her campaign on November 13, McSally said that she is conceding the race.

"With nearly all the votes counted, I called Mark Kelly this morning to congratulate him on winning this. I also offered support in his transition to ensure Arizonans are best served during this time," she said. "I wish him all the best."

Original story:

The general election was over a week ago. And now, after tens of thousands of ballots have been counted across Arizona, Senator Martha McSally still trails her Democratic challenger Mark Kelly by almost 80,000 votes. The most recent tally of uncounted votes statewide reported by election officials is around 45,000, making it impossible for her to close the gap.

But McSally has yet to concede the race. In fact, she's gone completely radio silent.

Fox News called the race for Kelly on election night, and the Associated Press followed suit at 1:00 a.m. on November 4. Other major networks called it for Kelly days later. McSally's last public statements, at least on social media, were a few tweets from her campaign Twitter account urging voters to make it to the polls and stay in line to vote on Election Day.

Jacob Peters, a spokesperson for Kelly, told New Times that the Senator-elect has yet to receive a concession call from McSally; he declined to comment on the incumbent's bizarre lack of acknowledgement of Kelly's victory.

Caroline Anderegg, a spokesperson for McSally's reelection campaign, did not respond to New Times requests for comment.

Kelly, meanwhile, has assumed the role of Senator-elect. He's been assigned temporary office space in Washington, D.C. and has named a transition team. And because Kelly won a race that is technically a special election — McSally was appointed to the seat two years ago by Governor Doug Ducey — Kelly could be sworn in as soon as November 30. Arizona Senator Krysten Sinema, a Democrat who beat McSally in the 2018 election, publicly welcomed Kelly to the Senate and thanked McSally for "her service."

McSally's silence seems to mimic the denial of the election results in the presidential race coming from President Donald Trump, Senate Republicans, and the broader Republican party — including elected officials and party leaders in Arizona. (Reports have emerged that the Republican posturing is geared toward motivating the GOP base to help win the two runoff Senate elections in Georgia in January.)

Even Republican Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, who has so far refrained from spreading baseless accusations of rampant voter fraud (as others in his party have done), has not issued any public statement congratulating Kelly on his win. Spokespersons for Ducey did not respond to New Times' questions about Kelly's win and the governor's response.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.