Mark Kelly waited 10 days after winning his election before Governor Doug Ducey congratulated him as Arizona’s next U.S. Senator. The two men finally met today in the governor’s office in the executive tower.
The meeting was delayed several hours because of an accident on Interstate 10.
Senator-elect Kelly expects to be sworn in next week, a week or two ahead of the anticipated time a COVID-19 vaccine will be ready for distribution in Arizona.
“We talked about a number of issues,” Kelly said. “COVID-19 clearly was at the top of the list.”
Kelly sees his first order of business as helping deliver the financial shot in the arm Arizona businesses and families need to get them through the pandemic's economic effect.
“The Governor and I talked about the need for the Senate to pass a stimulus bill,” Kelly said. “We need to make sure people get more than $240 a week in unemployment. We need to help small businesses. We have 500,000 small businesses in Arizona. We can’t let them fail.”
Following the meeting, Governor Ducey released a statement saying, “I’m grateful to Senator-elect Kelly for sitting down to talk about the important work ahead of us, and I once again congratulate him on his recent victory. Today’s meeting was a productive one. We discussed how we can work together to advance Arizona’s priorities at the federal level, including partnering on issues that matter to Arizonans like efficiently distributing a COVID-19 vaccine, expanding telemedicine options, keeping Arizona and our nation economically competitive, improving infrastructure and growing cross-border trade. There is no shortage of critical issues before our state and nation, and we’ll need both sides working together to really make a difference."
The demands of public service are never easy, and I am grateful for @CaptMarkKelly’s willingness to serve at this crucial time. I look forward to working with him to best serve the people of Arizona and future generations. 2/2— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) November 23, 2020
“My thanks to Senator-elect Kelly for his willingness to continue serving Arizona at this crucial time. I look forward to working with him to best serve the people of Arizona and future generations," Ducey also said in the statement.
Earlier Monday, the Governor tweeted Arizona is working with Health Officials and private sector partners to ensure a quick and effective distribution of the COVID-19 vaccination. Ducey expects people will start being vaccinated by mid to late December.
Mark Kelly said he had one ask of the Governor during his meeting. It was to issue a statewide mask mandate. Kelly said the governor made no assurances he will do that.