Mark Kelly, Former NASA Astronaut, Announces Run for Senate in Arizona

Retired astronaut Mark Kelly husband of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords to run for John McCain’s Senate seat

A number of political analysts say Mark Kelly's announcement that he would seek the Democratic seat for U.S. Senate will pose a major challenge to Republicans.

JACK SWIGERT - Swigert is the man responsible for one of the most famous lines in NASA history: "Houston, we've had a problem here".

Retired astronaut and Navy veteran Mark Kelly announced his bid for former Sen. John McCain. Martha McSally, a Republican former Arizona representative, is now filling the Senate seat by appointment following McCain's death in 2018.

According to his video, he also flew 39 combat missions as a Navy combat pilot in Operation Desert Storm over Iraq and Kuwait.

Toward the end of the video, Kelly says he was motivated to run because of a growing opposition to science, data and facts. The special election is set to take place in November 2020 and the victor will complete the final two years of McCain's six-year term. If elected he would serve out the remaining two years of McCain's six-year term.

Democrats are eagerly watching the Arizona contest, having already defeated McSally. No Democrat has won Arizona's presidential electoral votes since Bill Clinton in 1996, but Hillary Clinton came within three and a half points of winning there in 2016. Kelly talks about his military service - showing off his old Navy uniform - and his time as an astronaut.

Jason Rhian spent several years honing his skills with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations. He became active in gun control efforts after the attack on Giffords.

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They shifted their focus to state legislatures in recent years, helping to strengthen background checks and domestic violence protections. Six others were killed during the shooting and 13 were injured.

"Turned out, you were the one that had the risky job".

Kelly told the AP Giffords, who has been a rising Democratic star before the shooting, will join him frequently during campaign appearances.

McSally, a former U.S. Air Force combat pilot, was appointed a year ago to the seat held by the late McCain. After the election, she was appointed to fill McCain's seat, which had been temporarily occupied by Jon Kyl.

Arizona has been a longstanding Republican stronghold, but a growing Latino population and frustration among women with Trump have helped Democrats make inroads.

Kelly, a Democrat, announced his plans to run for the seat on social media, linking to a four-and-a-half-minute video largely biographical in nature. "I'll be making a final decision and announcement soon". Ruben Gallego, Democratic Congress member from Phoenix, is also considering a Senate run. John McCain who died August 25, 2018, at the age of 81.

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