Ex-NASA pilot Mark Kelly to run for US Senate in Arizona | News | DW | 12.02.2019
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Ex-NASA pilot Mark Kelly to run for US Senate in Arizona

The former astronaut will run as a Democrat in a 2020 election for the Senate seat held by the late John McCain. Kelly is the husband of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was wounded in a 2011 mass shooting.

Retired astronaut Mark Kelly announced on Tuesday he is running to finish John McCain's last term in the US Senate.

Kelly is the top Democratic candidate to take on Martha McSally, a former Republican congresswoman who replaced McCain following his death in August. The special election is set to take place in November 2020 and the winner will complete the final two years of McCain's six-year term.

Archiv: Mark Kelly kandidiert für Senatssitz in Arizona (picture-alliance/Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS/D. Maialetti)

Kelly's wife, Gabrielle Giffords, survived a shooting in 2011 and now leads a group called "Courage to Fight Gun Violence."

The former astronaut and US Navy combat pilot is the husband of Gabrielle Giffords, a former Arizona Congresswoman who was forced to resign in 2012 after she suffered severe wounds from a mass shooting in 2011. Kelly and Giffords have since pushed Congress to enact gun control measures with little success.

Kelly posted a video to Twitter on Tuesday while announcing his candidacy in which Giffords featured heavily. 

"We've seen this retreat from science and data and facts," Kelly says towards the end after announcing his intention to run. "And if we don't take these issues seriously, we can't solve these problems." 

Martha McSally, a former US Air Force combat pilot who has embraced US President Donald Trump, lost an election campaign for Arizona's other Senate seat to Democrat Krysten Sinema last November. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey then appointed McSally to McCain's seat last month after his first appointee, former Senator Jon Kyl, resigned after only a few months in office.

dv/msh (AP, Reuters)

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