Last updated on February 5, 2021
U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) said Native Americans played a significant role in the recent election, including his win in Arizona.
Now that he is elected, Kelly said he will continue to work with tribes to address problems with the pandemic, which remains, by far, a top priority on Arizona’s reservations.
Before the election, Kelly met with Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Hopi Chairman Timothy Nuvangyaoma several times to discuss the spread of pandemic on Arizona reservations and what the federal government was doing to help.
“Our tribal communities on Navajo and Hopi were hit hard. It took a while to get help from the federal government and then it was held up in the courts. So, the question is: How can be do better?” Kelly said.
Kelly started campaigning in February 2019.
“Early on, I decided I wanted to be a senator for all of Arizona. This meant going to every corner of every tribal community,” he said.
Kelly visited the Navajo, Hopi, San Carlos Apache, Colorado River Indian Tribe, Tohono O’Odham, other tribes and the Intertribal Council of Arizona.
“I started to reach out to the tribes to understand the challenges. Different tribes have different needs,” Kelly said.
Arizona’s Native American tribes delivered Arizona for both Senator Kelly and President Biden and Kelly is already working hard to be a strong, reliable ally for Arizona’s Native Americans. In other Kelly related news:
U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly has been named to the Senate Armed Services Committee, extending Arizona's presence on the panel that helps shape the military's budget and policies.
Kelly, D-Ariz., is a 25-year Navy veteran combat pilot and a retired NASA astronaut.
Kelly's addition to the committee, which his office confirmed Tuesday, means that every Arizona senator who has held that seat since former Sen. Barry Goldwater, R-Ariz., has been a member of the prestigious panel.
Former Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chaired the committee from 2015 until his death in 2018. Goldwater chaired it from 1985 to 1987 during his final Senate term.
Former Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., served on it during her two-year tenure in the chamber.
And while Kelly is representing a newly minted swing state and is trying to flex some bipartisanship credentials, voters are still going to expect him to take bold stances on key issues:
Mr. Kelly is already part of the group of 16 senators tasked with finding bipartisan agreement on the relief package. Ms. Sinema has been one of the most outspoken critics of Arizona’s response to the pandemic, and some Arizona Democrats believe she will be supportive of the Biden administration’s package.
Raquel Terán, the newly elected chair of the Arizona Democratic Party and a state representative, acknowledged that the two senators “didn’t campaign on the progressive end of spectrum.” But she said that while there might be some disagreements, she expected both to side with Mr. Biden on the relief package, health care and immigration.
“They will vote for the Democratic agenda, the agenda that Joe Biden has put forward — they supported him in the election and what they put on the table, so I am hopeful,” Ms. Terán said. “I hope that they will do everything to ensure that his agenda is not blocked.”
Let’s make sure Kelly is ready to win a full term in 2022. Click below to donate and get involved with Kelly’s re-election campaign, the Arizona Democratic Party and these Native American grassroots organizations:
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