clearn.png
Sunday April 21st, 2019 8:56PM

Ex-astronaut Mark Kelly makes Democratic bid for Senate seat

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

PHOENIX (AP) — Retired astronaut Mark Kelly, who became a prominent gun-control advocate after his wife and 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.

If he wins the Democratic nomination, Kelly would take on Republican Martha McSally in what is expected to be one of the most closely contested Senate races of the 2020 election.

Kelly described himself as an independent-minded centrist who will take a scientist's data-driven approach to solving problems such as climate change, wage stagnation and health care affordability.

"You see a lot of partisanship in Washington and a lot of polarization, and to some extent we've created that," Kelly told The Associated Press. "It's going to take people who are more independent to fix it. Arizonans value independence."

If Kelly is nominated the race would pit the Navy veteran and astronaut against McSally, a trailblazing Air Force pilot, in the contest to replace McCain, a legendary Navy flyer who was famously shot down and held captive in North Vietnam.

McSally is a former Republican congresswoman who was appointed to McCain's seat after she narrowly lost to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema last November in the race for outgoing Republican Jeff Flake's seat. McSally leaned heavily on her record as the first woman to fly a combat mission, but she was hurt by her embrace of President Donald Trump.

Kelly decried politicians who "ignore data and facts and in some cases don't even believe in science," but did not take on Trump directly, saying he's "not going to focus on the presidency or the White House."

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. The party is also gauging whether Arizona could be competitive at the presidential level in 2020 after Trump won by 4 percentage points in 2016.

Kelly has never held elected office. He flew combat missions during the first Gulf War and was a Navy test pilot before becoming an astronaut along with his twin brother, Scott Kelly. He flew four space missions over 10 years and commanded the Space Shuttle Endeavor in 2011.

Kelly and Giffords have pushed Congress to enact gun control measures with little success. They shifted their focus to state legislatures in recent years, helping to strengthen background checks and domestic violence protections.

Giffords was severely wounded in a mass shooting on Jan. 8, 2011. The shooting at a Giffords meet-and-greet event in Tucson left six dead and 13 injured.

Giffords played a prominent role in the four-minute video Tuesday launching Kelly's campaign.

"I thought then that I had the risky job," Kelly says to Giffords. "Turned out, you were the one that had the risky job."

Kelly told the AP Giffords, who has been a rising Democratic star before the shooting, will join him frequently during campaign appearances.

Republican Gov. Doug Ducey appointed McSally to the vacant Senate seat after his temporary appointee, former Sen. Jon Kyl, resigned after a few months in office.

Arizona has been a longstanding Republican stronghold, but a growing Latino population and frustration among women with Trump have helped Democrats make inroads.

U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego of Phoenix is also considering a Senate run that would likely position him to Kelly's left politically.

"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 said on Twitter following Kelly's announcement. "I'll be making a final decision and announcement soon."

Former Attorney General Grant Woods, a lifelong Republican who became a Democrat and a fierce critic of Trump, said last week he will not run for the seat.

McCain, a legendary and beloved Arizona politician, died last year from an aggressive form of brain cancer after more than three decades in the Senate.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Senate Election News
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Blackface scandal prompts others to confront their memories
As some of Virginia's white political leaders grapple with long-delayed fallout from having worn blackface years ago, others who once donned blackface have been re-examining old memories of the behavior
2:36PM ( 7 minutes ago )
The Latest: California governor: No LA-SF high-speed train
California Gov. Gavin Newsom pulls plug on plan for high-speed train from Los Angeles to San Francisco, says it will take too long and cost too much
2:26PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Ex-astronaut Mark Kelly makes Democratic bid for Senate seat
Retired astronaut Mark Kelly says he's running to finish John McCain's term in the U.S. Senate
2:25PM ( 18 minutes ago )
U.S. News
Trial of Catalan separatists begins in Madrid amid protests
A politically charged trial of a dozen Catalan separatist leaders is underway in Spain's Supreme Court amid protests and the possibility of an early general election being called in the country
2:40PM ( 3 minutes ago )
California governor pulls plug on LA-SF high-speed train
California Gov. Gavin Newsom pulls plug on plan for high-speed train from Los Angeles to San Francisco, says it will take too long and cost too much
2:38PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Judge: US must reconsider climate impacts of Montana mine
A federal magistrate judge says U.S. officials have failed for a second time to adequately consider the potential climate change effects from an expansion of Montana's largest coal mine
2:17PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Trump says having a dog would feel 'a little phony' to him
President Donald Trump isn't hiding the fact that he's not a dog person
1:57PM ( 46 minutes ago )
Trump says planning underway for July 4 parade or gathering
President Donald Trump is planning a new parade, possibly to replace a military procession he had ordered up for downtown Washington that was scuttled due to cost
1:37PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Trump says he's thrilled about 'a lot of wall'
President Donald Trump says that despite his unhappiness with a tentative agreement to prevent another partial government shutdown, he's "thrilled" about the direction of border wall construction
1:11PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Iranian-Americans nurture new generations after revolution
Iranian-Americans nurture new generations, 40 years since Islamic Revolution prompted many to flee Iran
10:35AM ( 4 hours ago )
Budget deal allows far less money than Trump wanted for wall
Tentative budget agreement to keep government operating gives Trump far less money than he sought for border wall
10:20AM ( 4 hours ago )
In Texas, Trump backs wall while O'Rourke rallies opponents
As Trump tells Texas supporters he's still going to build a wall, Beto O'Rourke rallies those against it
10:05AM ( 4 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
Study: Warming may make New York feel like Arkansas in 2080
A new study looks at what cities' future climate could be like under global warming by comparing them to hotter southern cities of today
12:03PM ( 2 hours ago )
GOP leaders back border deal, despite protests on the right
Tentative budget agreement to keep government operating gives Trump far less money than he sought for border wall
11:18AM ( 3 hours ago )
May delay: UK PM asks lawmakers for more time on Brexit
British Prime Minister Theresa May has urged restive lawmakers to "hold their nerve" and give her more time to rework a divorce agreement with the European Union
10:29AM ( 4 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Pompeo warns Eastern Europe on Chinese and Russian meddling
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is invoking the 30th anniversary of the demise of communism to implore countries in Central Europe to resist Chinese and Russian influence.
1:50PM ( 53 minutes ago )
Trump says he might not raise tariffs on China if deal close
President Donald Trump says if the United States and China are close to a trade deal, he might let slide a March 2 deadline to further boost tariffs on Chinese goods.
1:26PM ( 1 hour ago )
Sherrod Brown defends decision not to endorse Green New Deal
Sen. Sherrod Brown, a potential 2020 Democratic presidential contender, is defending his decision not to sign onto the climate change plan known as the Green New Deal
12:38PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Rep. Omar apologizes for tweets about support for Israel
Freshman Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar "unequivocally" apologizes for tweets about the influence in Congress of an American organization that supports Israel
5:58AM ( 8 hours ago )
Congressional lawmakers reach deal on border wall funding
Deal reached on border wall funding that would avert a second government shutdown this year
11:35PM ( 15 hours ago )
In El Paso, Trump and O'Rourke go head-to-head over wall
President Donald Trump is charging ahead with his pledge to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, skimming over the details of lawmakers' tentative deal that would give him far less than he's been demanding
11:16PM ( 15 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Afghan government fires election commission
Afghan government fires election commission three months after chaotic parliamentary polls
11:31AM ( 3 hours ago )
Thai polls regulator heeds king, blocks princess' candidacy
Thailand's state Election Commission has disqualified the sister of the country's king from becoming a candidate for prime minister in the March 24 general election
11:50PM ( 14 hours ago )
The Latest: O'Rourke says there's 'nothing to be afraid of'
Democrat Beto O'Rourke told a hometown El Paso crowd that it's time to "show the country that there is nothing to be afraid of when it comes to the U.S.-Mexico border."
10:03PM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Elections
Trump says Pompeo not leaving Cabinet for Senate race
President Donald Trump says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is "absolutely not leaving" the Cabinet even as top Republicans make a pitch for him to run for the Senate in Kansas in 2020
1:55PM ( 1 week ago )
'Love ain't easy': Booker brings upbeat vibe to 2020 fight
Cory Booker has leaped into the 2020 presidential race with a call for Americans to unite in a time of bitter polarization
7:18AM ( 1 week ago )
New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker launches 2020 bid
U.S. Sen. Cory Booker is running for president in 2020
5:01AM ( 1 week ago )
General Senate Election News
The Latest: California governor: No LA-SF high-speed train
California Gov. Gavin Newsom pulls plug on plan for high-speed train from Los Angeles to San Francisco, says it will take too long and cost too much
2:26PM ( 17 minutes ago )
New Jersey becomes first US state to take legal Oscars bets
Are you so sure that Lady Gaga will win an Oscar for her performance in a "Star is Born" that you'd be willing to bet on it
2:12PM ( 30 minutes ago )
At some big colleges, sexual assaults most likely off-campus
Several of the nation's largest universities receive more sexual assault complaints from off-campus than from school property, but their obligation to address off-campus cases could be dramatically reduced under a federal proposal
2:12PM ( 31 minutes ago )
Blackface scandal prompts others to confront their memories
As some of Virginia's white political leaders grapple with long-delayed fallout from having worn blackface years ago, others who once donned blackface have been re-examining old memories of the behavior
1:59PM ( 44 minutes ago )
Notorious drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman convicted
Notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has been convicted of drug trafficking in a U.S. trial that could keep him in prison for life.
1:57PM ( 46 minutes ago )