Mark Kelly announces run for McCain Senate seat in Arizona

Gun violence victim and former U.S. Congresswoman Gabby Giffords watches her husband NASA astronaut Mark Kelly speak as they visits City Hall on her 2016 Vocal Majority Tour

Retired U.S. astronaut Mark Kelly, whose wife former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was wounded in a 2011 mass shooting, plans to run for a U.S. Senate seat in Arizona, he said in a video posted to Twitter on Tuesday.

Kelly, 54, who has been heavily recruited by Democrats, announced his intentions with a video in which he calls the campaign "my next mission". That included a mention of his career as a NASA astronaut. "It becomes pretty obvious pretty early when you get into space that we're all kind of in this together".

Kelly will try to unseat Sen.

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

Currently, that seat is held by Republican Martha McSally, who was appointed by the Republican Arizona Governor, Doug Ducey, after Mr McCain's death.

She replaced GOP Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), but lost to Democratic challenger Krysten Sinema.

McSally, a former Air Force pilot, is expected to run as well.

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Nationally, Republicans face a more hard Senate map in 2020 than they did in 2018. The victor of the 2020 election will have to run again for a full six-year term in 2022.

Former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly's "next mission" is to be a United States senator for Arizona. He flew four space missions over 10 years and commanded the Space Shuttle Endeavor in 2011.

Kelly's wife Giffords - who served as a congresswoman from 2006 to 2012 - was featured prominently in the video.

Kelly and his wife were thrust into the national consciousness on January 8, 2011, when Giffords was the target of an assassination attempt at a meet-and-greet event with constituents outside a supermarket in her hometown of Tucson, Arizona.

From there Kelly's video discusses his efforts to help Giffords during the recovery process, with Kelly explaining that he had to think clearly and make good decisions.

Kelly and Giffords have since been vocal advocates for gun control. He concludes by saying that Giffords taught him how policy can be used to improve people's lives and that he wants to focus on issues like affordable health care, climate change, wage stagnation and job creation. He's also emphasized his NASA background in public appearances and corporate engagements.

12, 2018, photo, Gabrielle Giffords and husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, attend the Glamour Women of the Year Awards at Spring Studios in NY. John Glenn, the first American in space in 1962, was elected to the Senate from OH in 1974. After the election, she was appointed to fill McCain's seat, which had been temporarily occupied by Jon Kyl. He lost his bid for a fourth term last November.

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