Mark Kelly, Retired Astronaut and Husband of Gabby Giffords, Announces Senate Run

He’ll challenge Republican Martha McSally to finish John McCain’s last term.

Matt Rourke/AP

Mark Kelly, the retired astronaut and husband of former congresswoman Gabby Giffords, announced Tuesday that he is running for US Senate in 2020.

He will challenge Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), who in December was appointed to the Senate seat previously held by Sen. John McCain just weeks after narrowly losing a Senate race against Democrat Kyrsten Sinema in the midterm elections. McSally is considered one of the most vulnerable Republicans going into the 2020 elections.

“I learned a lot from being an astronaut,” Kelly says in a video message announcing his candidacy. “I learned a lot from being a pilot in the Navy, I learned a lot about solving problems from being an engineer. But what I learned from my wife is how you use policy to improve people’s lives. Arizonans are facing incredibly challenging issues here in the years to come.”

Kelly, an outspoken advocate for gun control, rose to national prominence after Giffords was severely injured from a mass shooting in 2011.