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

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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.

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Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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