Arizona Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate Mark Kelly said Wednesday that the winner of that closely watched Senate race should be sworn in without haste, as lawmakers in Washington gear up in the fight to fill the now vacant Supreme Court seat.
"Regardless of who wins, once the vote is certified here in Arizona, in accordance with the law, that person should be promptly seated to work for Arizonans," Kelly said in an interview with ABC's “The View.”
"They're concerned about health care, pre-existing conditions. They're concerned about protecting Social Security and Medicare,” Kelly added. “So in accordance with the law, when the election is done, I think it's important that if I was to win that I get sworn."
Kelly, who is former astronuat and U.S. Navy Captain, is reportedly leading in the polls against Sen. Martha McSally, R-Az., in a special election, and could be sworn in as quickly as the end of November, if he were to win, according to The New York Times.
Democrats believe that winning McSally’s seat is one of the best chances they have in gaining back the Senate – a move that could potentially shape the Supreme Court if the Senate is unable to get President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee confirmed prior to the Nov. 3 election.
McSally, who was a former fighter pilot in the Air Force, was instated by Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, after former Sen. John McCain passed away while in office.
Arizona’s special election will dictate who will serve the remainder of McCain’s term through 2022, before having to run for re-election should they wish to remain in the Senate.
The special election is also the reason that Kelly could be sworn in early, as opposed to waiting until Jan. 3 when the new Senate is set to be sworn in.
The Senate GOP has largely said they support Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s calls to have a new justice confirmed as soon as possible.
With a 53-47 Republican controlled Senate, it's unlikely that Democrats could stop a rushed confirmation process.
Democrats have called Republican senators hypocritical in their push to get a third justice nominated by Trump and confirmed to the Supreme Court — pointing to their refusal to review President Obama’s nominee in 2016, following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, citing concerns over instating a new justice during an election year.
If Congress is faced with a tie while voting on the Senate floor for the Supreme Court justice’s confirmation, the tie could be broken by Vice President Mike Pence.