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Former astronaut Mark Kelly announces run for US Senate |

Former astronaut Mark Kelly announces run for US Senate
Former astronaut Mark Kelly announces run for US Senate Tue, 12 Feb 2019 09:36:35 EST

Mark Kelly, the retired astronaut and husband to former U.S. Rep Gabby Giffords, announced Tuesday his plans to run for the U.S. Senate.

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"Partisanship and polarization and gerrymandering and corporate money have ruined our politics and its divided us," Kelly said in a video announcement posted to social media. "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 plans to run for the U.S. Senate seat previously held by the late Republican Sen. John McCain and currently held by Republican Martha McSally, KOLD-TV reported.

Kelly said in Tuesday’s announcement that his decision to run was partially inspired by his wife, who in 2011 survived an attempted assassination in Tuscon.

"One thing I realized early on was, you know, that Gabby needed me to help her through this -- she needed an advocate. The thing I need to do for my wife  is to be able to move ahead," Kelly said. "What I learned from my wife is how you use policy to improve people’s lives."

Kelly is considered a top Democratic recruit to take on McSally in one of the most closely contested Senate races of the 2020 election.

Kelly lives in Tuscon with his wife.

Check back for updates to this developing story.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.