Retired astronaut Mark Kelly, who rocketed to the national spotlight when his Congresswoman wife Gabrielle Giffords was shot in a failed assassination attempt, announced Tuesday he’s running to finish John McCain’s last term in the U.S. Senate.
Kelly, who is also a former captain in the U.S. Navy, announced his candidacy with a video on Twitter.
According to CNN, in the video he highlights his experience in military service and as an engineer, adding that his wife, former Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords, taught him about policy.
“But what I learned from my wife is how you use policy to improve people’s lives,” he said. “Arizonans are facing incredibly challenging issues here in the years to come.”
Kelly said he would tackle affordable health care, wage stagnation, job growth, the economy and drought as a result of climate change in the Senate.
“We’ve seen this retreat from science and data and facts, and if we don’t take these issues seriously, we can’t solve these problems.”
Kelly is not the only Democrat being floated for a run against Republican Senator Martha McSally, who was appointed to replace Senator Jon Kyl at the end of 2018.
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.