Mark Kelly, Former NASA Astronaut, Announces Run for Senate in Arizona
Kelly noted affordable healthcare, stagnant wages and job growth as some of the issues he hoped to tackle
Mark Kelly has been a Navy pilot and an astronaut, but he’s now setting his sights on a new goal: Arizona senator.
Kelly, the husband of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, threw his hat into the ring for the upcoming Arizona senate race with a social media video revealing his “next mission” on Tuesday.
“Partisanship and polarization and gerrymandering and corporate money have ruined our politics and it’s divided us,” he says in the video. “I care about people. I care about the state of Arizona. I care about this nation … We’ve seen this retreat from science and data and facts, and if we don’t take these issues seriously, we can’t solve these problems.”
The Democrat, 54, noted affordable healthcare, stagnant wages, job growth, the economy and climate change as issues he hopes to tackle in his campaign.
Kelly’s wife Giffords — who served as a congresswoman from 2006 to 2012 — was featured prominently in the video. She and her husband have become activists following a January 2011 assassination attempt on Giffords that killed six other people in Tucson.
The couple launched the organization Giffords in 2013 to help fight the “gun violence epidemic” in the wake of the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Kelly retired as a NASA astronaut in 2011 after completing four missions into space over the span of decade.
According to his video, he also flew 39 combat missions as a Navy combat pilot in Operation Desert Storm over Iraq and Kuwait.
He’s aiming for the seat currently held by Republican Martha McSally, who took over the spot left vacant by Sen. John McCain after his death in August 2018.