Mark Kelly, the retired astronaut and husband of former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, is running for late John McCain's Senate seat. Martha McSally, a Republican who lost her race for Senate past year but was then appointed to fill the seat left vacant after McCain's death. A special election is slated to be held in 2020 to determine who will take the veteran senator's seat. 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.
FILE - In this October 2, 2017, file photo, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., right, listens as her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, left, speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Giffords and Kelly have been active on gun control issues in recent years.
In a four-minute video posted on Twitter, Kelly reflects on his upbringing and how his mother inspired him as a child by her passing a physical fitness test designed for men in order to become a police officer.
"We've seen this retreat from science and data and facts", he says. "I learned a lot about solving problems from being an engineer", Kelly says in the campaignannouncementvideo.
President Donald Trump won Arizona in the 2016 election, but USA media say the state will be a key battleground in the 2020 elections. Their high profile and the admiration people have for them as a couple was no doubt the reason many Democrats encouraged Kelly to run (though others including Rep. Ruben Gallego are also considering joining the race).
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While Mark retired after his last NASA mission in 2011, his twin brother Scott is still an active astronaut which has allowed the two Kelly twins will take part in a groundbreaking study of the effects of outer space on genetics. Kelly also plans to make health care and climate change focal points of his campaign.
Like Kelly, McSally is a former military combat pilot.
As a Navy combat pilot, Kelly was deployed during the Gulf War and flew 39 combat missions, according to his campaign page.
Six others were killed in the attack. Jon Kyl, who was appointed to fill the role after McCain's death in August and stepped down at the end of 2018.
Gov. Doug Ducey appointed McSally to the vacant Senate seat after his first appointee, former Sen. The victor of the 2020 election will have to run again for a full six-year term in 2022. "I'll be making a final decision and announcement soon".