Retired Astronaut Mark Kelly Announces Run for McCain Senate Seat in Arizona

Gun violence victim and former U.S. Congresswoman Gabby Giffords watches her husband NASA astronaut Mark Kelly speak as they visits City Hall on her 2016 Vocal Majority Tour

Retired astronaut Mark Kelly, husband of Gabby Giffords, to run for Senate

Former astronaut Mark Kelly has revealed his 2020 Senate campaign video as he makes his bid to become the Democratic nominee to run in a special election to fill the former Senate seat of John McCain in Arizona.

The victor of the 2020 election will see out the remainder of McCain's term, but would also have to run again in 2022 to secure a full, six-year term.

Mr Kelly, 54, is married to former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who retired after being shot during a 2011 mass shooting.

Before Mark Kelly was a Democratic-party US Senate candidate for Arizona, he was a high-flying NASA astronaut with some literally out-of-this-world space credentials. Both Giffords and Kelly have advocated for stricter gun control in the US.

"We've seen this retreat from science and data and facts", Kelly says towards the end after announcing his intention to run. I learned a lot about solving problems from being an engineer.

Arizona is a state that was red, is now purple, and is moving toward blue, but very slowly. His introductory video not only spends a good deal of time on his relationship with his wife, but you'll notice something else: He talks about the experience his mother had overcoming obstacles to become a police officer, but doesn't mention that his father was a police officer, too.

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But he has never run for anything before, and while astronauts are semi-famous in their own right, Kelly is still defined in the public's mind as "Gabby Giffords' husband".

In his campaign announcement, Kelly highlights climate change, affordable health care, the stagnation of wages, job growth and the economy as the issues Arizonians will face. If elected he would serve out the remaining two years of McCain's six-year term.

"You see a lot of partisanship in Washington and a lot of polarisation, and to some extent we've created that", Mr Kelly said.

He's aiming for the seat now held by Republican Martha McSally, who took over the spot left vacant by Sen. He flew on four shuttle missions, including STS-108 in 2001 and STS-121 in 2006 as pilot. Giffords was shot at an event outside a Tucson grocery store in an incident that left six dead and 13 wounded. John McCain's seat. McCain won re-election in 2016, but died in August from brain cancer. Jon Kyl, who had been appointed a few months earlier following GOP Sen.

"I've made no secret of the fact that I'm looking seriously at running for the U.S. Senate in 2020, and that hasn't changed", Gallego said. "I'll be making a final decision and announcement soon".

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