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Sen.-elect Mark Kelly visits John McCain's grave ahead of swearing-in

Sen.-elect Mark Kelly visits John McCain's grave ahead of swearing-in
© Greg Nash

Mark KellyMark KellyState-level Republicans wracked by division after Trump's loss Moderates vow to 'be a force' under Biden Arizona Gov. Ducey says he won't run against Mark Kelly for Senate MORE, Arizona's Democratic senator-elect, paid a visit to the late Arizona Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainOn The Money: GOP digs in on defending Trump tax cuts | Democrats bullish on raising minimum wage | Financial sector braces for Biden's consumer bureau pick No. 2 Senate Democrat says minimum wage can be increased with simple majority vote State-level Republicans wracked by division after Trump's loss MORE’s (R) grave ahead of his swearing in.

Kelly, along with his wife, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), and his daughter Claire, placed a wreath on McCain’s grave, located at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Maryland, according to the Arizona Republic.

The politician, former astronaut and retired U.S. Navy captain is set to have his Senate swearing-in ceremony tomorrow.

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Republican Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyState-level Republicans wracked by division after Trump's loss Cindy McCain on possible GOP censure: 'I think I'm going to make T-shirts' Arizona state GOP moves to censure Cindy McCain, Jeff Flake MORE filled the vacant Senate seat that resulted from McCain’s death from brain cancer in 2018. Kelly beat her in last month's election, taking over for the remaining two years of the late senator’s term. McCain was last elected to the Senate in 2016.

His election to McCain’s seat has special significance for Kelly, who referred to McCain as someone he looked up to growing up, despite the two representing opposing political parties. Kelly said he’s looking forward to using McCain’s desk when he takes office.

“He was a hero of mine when I was young, and we often don’t get to meet our heroes,” Kelly said. “It’s also much less often that you eventually get to call them a friend and to be elected to his United States Senate seat, that — that’s a very big deal for me.”