Mark Kelly announces bid for John McCain's Senate seat

Mark Kelly announces bid for John McCain's Senate seat

Mark Kelly announces bid for John McCain's Senate seat

Before Mark Kelly was a Democratic-party US Senate candidate for Arizona, he was a high-flying NASA astronaut with some literally out-of-this-world space credentials.

"Now that the thesis that a Democrat can win statewide has been proven, we are going to see stronger challengers like Kelly and Gallego for statewide offices in the future", said Eberhart.

The Democrat will take on Republican Martha McSally in what is expected to be one of the most closely contested Senate races of the 2020 election. "Partisanship and polarization and gerrymandering and corporate money have ruined our politics and it's divided us".

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 in Vietnam. He's married to Gabrielle Giffords, the former Democratic Congress member from Arizona who survived being shot in the head during a constituent event in 2011. The seat will be on the ballot again in 2022 for a full six-year term.

McSally is a former Republican congresswoman who was appointed to McCain's seat a year ago after she narrowly lost to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema. He flew combat missions during the first Gulf War before becoming an astronaut along with his twin brother, Scott Kelly.

Kelly and Giffords have continued to push universal background checks in the years since, all under the guise of making Americans safer. He flew four space missions between 2001 and 2011. The former Tucson congresswoman, who represented the same district as Giffords a few years after the shooting, was appointed to the Senate early this year.

"And that's Mark Kelly's chief attribute, I think".

Kelly, who was originally a Navy pilot, spent 54 days in space serving on four NASA space shuttle missions to the International Space Station.

It's unclear whether Kelly will have a clear path to the Democratic nomination.

Former Sen. Jon Kyl was appointed by the state's Republican governor, Doug Ducey, to fill the seat, but Kyl held the seat only through the end of 2018 before stepping down.

Arizona has been a longstanding Republican stronghold, but a growing Latino population and frustration among women with Trump have helped Democrats make inroads. John McCain's seat. McCain won re-election in 2016, but died in August from brain cancer.

United States congressman Ruben Gallego of Phoenix is also considering a Senate run, which would likely set up a tough fight for the Democratic nomination.

"I've made no secret of the fact that I'm looking seriously at running for the U.S. Senate in 2020, and that hasn't changed", Gallego tweeted after Kelly's announcement Tuesday morning.

Grant Woods, a former Republican who served as McCain's chief of staff, announced last week that he would not run for Senate.

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