Ex-astronaut Mark Kelly announces run for McCain Senate seat

Ex-astronaut Mark Kelly announces run for McCain Senate seat

Gun Rights

PHOENIX ( AP )( STL.News )— Retired astronaut Mark Kelly, who became a prominent gun-control advocate after his wife, former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, was shot in a failed assassination attempt, announced Tuesday he will run to finish John McCain’s last term in the U.S. Senate. Kelly, 54, is a top Democratic recruit to take on Republican Martha McSally in one of the most closely contested Senate races of the 2020 election. McSally is a former Republican congresswoman who was appointed to McCain’s seat last year after she narrowly lost to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema. McSally leaned heavily on her record as the first woman to fly a combat mission as a fighter pilot, but she was hurt by her embrace of President Donald Trump. If Kelly is nominated, the race would pit a Navy veteran and astronaut against a trailblazing Air Force pilot in the contest to replace McCain, a legendary Navy flyer who was famously shot down and held captive. The 2020 election will decide who finishes the last two years of McCain’s term. The winner would have to run again for a full six-year term in 2022. Democrats are eagerly watching the Arizona contest, having already defeated McSally in a Senate race just a few months ago. The party is also gauging whether Arizona could be competitive at the presidential level in 2020. Kelly has never held elected office. A retired Navy captain, he flew combat missions from an aircraft carrier during the first Gulf War before […]

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