Ex-astronaut Mark Kelly to run for John McCain’s Senate seat

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Joe Raedle

Former US astronaut Mark Kelly has launched a 2020 Democratic marketing campaign for the late Senator John McCain’s Arizona seat in Congress.

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

The couple grew to become well-known gun management advocates following the assault.

However in his Tuesday launch video, the Navy veteran centered his platform on healthcare, jobs and local weather change.

“It turns into fairly apparent fairly early once you get into house that we’re all form of on this collectively,” Mr Kelly says within the video.

Mr Kelly is a fight pilot who served throughout the first Gulf Struggle and later flew 4 house missions for Nasa from 2001 to 2011.

Although vocal in his politics, he has by no means held elected workplace earlier than.

Mr Kelly is operating for the Democratic nomination forward of subsequent yr’s particular election to fill the final two years of Mr McCain’s Senate seat.

At present, that seat is held by Republican Martha McSally, who was appointed by the Republican Arizona Governor, Doug Ducey, after Mr McCain’s dying.

Ms McSally was chosen after narrowly shedding her Senate bid in November to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema – who grew to become Arizona’s first Democratic senator since 1994.

President Donald Trump gained Arizona within the 2016 election, however US media say the state might be a key battleground within the 2020 elections.

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Whereas a pair Democrats within the state have hinted at Senate ambitions, together with Consultant Ruben Gallego, US media report, Mr Kelly is the primary to formally announce a marketing campaign.

In his marketing campaign video, Mr Kelly stated his mom, who grew to become one of many first feminine law enforcement officials in her division within the 1970s, taught him about exhausting work, and his spouse taught him “how you utilize coverage to enhance individuals’s lives”.

“I at all times knew I used to be going to serve this nation indirectly,” he stated.

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Invoice Clark/CQ Roll Name by way of Getty Photos

Picture caption

Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly converse on the US capitol after the Las Vegas capturing

His spouse, former Democratic Consultant Ms Giffords, was shot within the head throughout a political occasion in Tucson in January 2011, resulting in her resignation from Congress. Six others had been killed throughout the capturing and 13 had been injured.

After the 2013 Sandy Hook Elementary Faculty capturing, Mr Kelly and Ms Giffords based the Giffords organisation, which seeks to unite regulation enforcement, veterans, and non secular leaders “to scale back gun violence and make our communities safer”.

The couple have been outspoken gun security advocates for the reason that assault, and appeared on the March for Our Lives rally organised by Parkland college students final yr in Washington DC.

Whereas Mr Kelly averted discussing gun management in his launch video, his predominant points are according to what lots of his Democratic friends ran on throughout the mid-term elections: Healthcare, wages, job development, and the atmosphere.

He has additionally acknowledged he is not going to be taking any company political motion committee (PAC) cash, very like different freshman Democrats and 2020 presidential hopefuls this previous yr.

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