In a statement released Friday, McSally wrote that she had called Kelly to congratulate him on his win and offered support during the transition of the Senate seat.
"I will always be inspired by the strength, resilience, innovation, and compassion that I witnessed from Arizonans as I traveled throughout our great state. I will never forget what I learned from all of you," she said.
U.S. Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., hugs her dog Boomer prior to greeting voters at a polling station, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Mesa, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
"While falling short, I am deeply humbled to have received the second most votes ever cast by Arizonans for a statewide race. I am thankful for the more than 1.6 million Arizonans who voted for me and everyone who dedicated their time, resources, and prayers to our campaign," wrote McSally.
"After fighting for our country for more than three decades—the last nine in the political arena—I trust God will lead me to my next mission to make a difference after I get a little rest," McSally concluded. "Thank you, Arizona! It's been an honor to serve you, and I know our future is bright and blessed.”
She began her career in politics in 2012, winning the race for the Grand Canyon State's second district. She won again in 2014 in an extremely tight contest and defeated Democratic opponent Matt Heinz in 2016.
With 99% of votes counted, Kelly, a former NASA astronaut, defeated McSally by almost 80,000 votes, or 51.18% to 48.82%.
Arizona was one of a couple of states that saw increased support for Democrats this year after voting in favor of President Trump four years ago.