Mark Kelly (Democrat) is a candidate for the U.S. Senate from Arizona. The general special election is on November 3, 2020. The primary election is on August 4, 2020.
Kelly is a retired astronaut and co-founder of Americans for Responsible Solutions, a nonprofit organization and super PAC that advocates for stricter gun laws and aims to support what its website calls "commonsense protections from gun violence."
Mark Kelly's career was in aviation, as he was deployed twice to missions during Operation Desert Storm in the 1990s. Kelly flew 39 combat missions from the aircraft carrier USS Midway. Kelly was selected as an astronaut with NASA in 1996 but was on active duty as a captain in the U.S. Navy. As an astronaut, Kelly flew four missions with the Space Shuttle Endeavour. In 2001, he traveled to the International Space Station (ISS) for maintenance; he returned to the ISS in 2006, 2008 and 2011, logging over 20 million miles of space travel during his career as an astronaut. He retired from the Navy and NASA in 2011.
Kelly is also known as the co-founder of the gun control group Americans for Responsible Solutions. Kelly's wife, former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), was participating in a "Congress on Your Corner" event in Tucson, Arizona, when Jared Lee Loughner—since diagnosed with schizophrenia—shot Giffords in the head and killed six other people. In 2013, two years after the shooting, Giffords and Kelly formed Americans for Responsible Solutions, a nonprofit organization, and a super PAC of the same name. The group was formed to promote gun legislation at the state level and has helped to pass universal background checks in Oregon. They also work to support campaigns of officials who work for gun violence prevention. Of this campaign activity, Kelly told Politico, "We need leaders who are ready to shatter the tired myth that you can’t be both pro-gun rights and pro-gun violence prevention."