By Yvonne Wingett Sanchez | Arizona Republic
Mark Kelly, the retired astronaut and U.S. Navy combat pilot, publicly launched his bid for Democratic nomination for the 2020 Senate seat in Phoenix on Sunday, in front of a throng of supporters who hope to see him unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Martha McSally.
Kelly’s event — held in the parking lot of a downtown music venue and attended by about 750 people — followed a similar appearance in Tucson on Saturday. He was introduced to the stage by his wife, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who survived an assassination attempt at a 2011 constituent event near Tucson, where six people died and 12 others were injured.
Kelly, 55, spoke of his missions to space, his service during the Iraq War, and his caregiving to Giffords after the shooting, as well as his advocacy for gun-control measures in the wake of the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
“A mission for Arizona,” he said of his campaign. “A mission to lift up hard-working Arizonans, make Arizona safe and secure, give every family in this state access to affordable health care, and grow wages for our middle class.”