Mark Kelly, astronaut and husband to Gabby Giffords, running for Senate

Kelly, the husband of former Rep. Gabby Giffords, announced he’s running for Senate in 2020 in a video he released Tuesday.

Kelly, 54, would face Arizona’s Martha McSally, a Republican, for her Senate seat. McSally was appointed to the late Sen. John McCain’s seat after she lost to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema in the 2018 election.

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Kelly and Giffords became top proponents for gun control legislation after the former Democratic congresswoman was shot in the head while meeting with constituents in Tucson in 2011.

In addition to his time as a NASA astronaut, Kelly was also a Navy combat pilot and engineer. He has never held elected office.

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Former astronaut Mark Kelly announces run for US Senate

Kelly is a top Democratic recruit to challenge Republican Sen. Martha McSally, who was appointed to the seat late last year. The race is widely expected to be one of the most closely contested Senate races of the 2020 election. Kelly has never held elected office but became a visible advocate for gun control after his wife was shot.

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Former astronaut Mark Kelly to run for Arizona’s US Senate seat

Kelly, a Democrat and husband to former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, made the announcement of his 2020 campaign in a tweet:

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Kelly’s entry into the race comes days after former state Attorney General Grant Woods told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes that he had decided not to run.

The seat belongs to Republican Martha McSally, who was appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey in December. Democrat Kyrsten Sinema beat McSally in the November general election for the spot vacated by Jeff Flake.

  • Publisher: KTAR.com
  • Date: 2019-02-12T13:02:32+00:00
  • Twitter: @ktar923
  • Citation: Web link (Read More)

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Retired astronaut Mark Kelly running for 2020 US Senate in Arizona

Kelly said his next mission is for Arizona in an announcement video posted to his website and social media.

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He will compete in the Democratic primary and if successful, face off against Republican Martha McSally in a 2020 special election.

McSally is finishing out the term of late Senator John McCain. She was appointed to the seat late last year by Gov. Doug Ducey.

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Kelly is a firm believer in gun control legislation, co-founding the gun-control organization Americans for Responsible Solutions with Giffords in 2013.’

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Steller’s Friday Notebook: Dems hungrily eye McSally Senate seat in 2020

For another, the same Republican she beat, Martha McSally, will presumably be the general-election candidate Dems are running against, since she’s been appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey to hold John McCain’s former seat for two years.

So this time out, you can expect more than the symbolic competition that Sinema, then a member of the U.S. House, faced in the primary election. It should be a freewheeling competition among some heavyweight Democrats and a few lesser known ones.

In 2018, longtime Democratic Party official and donor Bill Roe said, ‘the risk-reward calculus was a little off. Now they see that it’s winnable, there aren’t going to be so many uncontested (primary) races.’

  • Publisher: Arizona Daily Star
  • Author: Tim Steller
  • Twitter: @tucsonstar
  • Citation: Web link (Read More)

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