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Former astronaut Mark Kelly announces run for US Senate

Posted: 8:18 AM, Feb 12, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-12 08:24:04-05

PHOENIX — Mark Kelly, the retired astronaut and husband of former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, is running for late John McCain's Senate seat.

A video was posted on Kelly's website Tuesday, showing that his run for Senate in Arizona is his "next mission."

In addition to being a NASA astronaut, Kelly was also a U.S. Navy Combat pilot and engineer.

Kelly is a top Democratic recruit to challenge Republican Sen. Martha McSally, who was appointed to the seat late last year. The race is widely expected to be one of the most closely contested Senate races of the 2020 election.

Kelly has never held elected office but became a visible advocate for gun control after his wife was shot.

Gabby was seriously injured when she was shot in the head during a Tucson, Arizona, constituent event in 2011 that left six people dead and others wounded.

According to his website, the couple co-founded an organization called “GIFFORDS” that unites “Americans of all stripes to reduce gun violence and make our communities safer.”

They now live in Tucson.