The 1986 United States Senate election in Arizona was held on November 4, 1986. Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater decided to retire instead of seeking a sixth term. The open seat was won by John McCain, a Republican congressman and former Navy officer who remained in the Senate until his death on August 25, 2018.
Kimball's campaign was subject to negative press from the Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette, both owned by McCain benefactor Darrow Tully. One Gazette columnist described him as displaying "terminal weirdness."  McCain ultimately won the election by a margin of 20%.