Sen. Mark Kelly (D) will run for re-election in Arizona against Republican Blake Masters this fall. Kelly is a former navy combat pilot who flew 39 combat missions in Operation Desert Storm.
Kelly later worked for NASA as an astronaut alongside his twin brother Scott. Mark visited space four times. In 1996, Mark stayed on Earth while Scott spent about a year in space so that scientists could study the effects on the human body.
In 2007, Mark Kelly married Gabby Giffords, who–at the time–was a Democrat representing Arizona in the House of Representatives.
In 2011, she was shot in the head by one of her constituents. She survived, and later that year, Kelly retired.
The two became advocates for gun safety legislation, and in 2019, Kelly announced he’d be running for Senate. He won as a Democrat in 2020.
As of July 2022, he voted in line with President Biden 94% of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight.
Nearing the midterms in a purple state, he started moving away from strict party loyalty. He voted to impose new sanctions over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and opposed ending Title 42.
Kelly has also begun to block some of Biden’s nominations.
Get every week’s most important stories in your inbox
THIS SENATOR IS ONE OF SEVERAL WHO HAVE SPENT TIME IN THE U.S. MILITARY.
HE’S ALSO SPENT MORE THAN 50 DAYS…IN SPACE.
NOW, MARK KELLY IS A SENATOR, AND HE’S JUST ONE NAME YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY.
AS A NAVY COMBAT PILOT, CAPTAIN KELLY FLEW 39 COMBAT MISSIONS IN OPERATION DESERT STORM.
IN ‘96, HE AND HIS TWIN BROTHER–SCOTT–WERE BOTH CHOSEN TO JOIN NASA AND BECOME ASTRONAUTS.
KELLY VISITED SPACE 4 DIFFERENT TIMES.
AT ONE POINT, HE STAYED ON EARTH WHILE SCOTT SPENT ABOUT A YEAR IN SPACE SO THAT SCIENTISTS COULD STUDY THE EFFECTS ON THE HUMAN BODY.
KELLY: “PEOPLE DO REALLY WELL ON SPACE MISSIONS. BUT IT’S THE PHYSIOLOGICAL–THE MEDICAL STUFF. THE STUFF LIKE RADIATION AND LOSS OF BONE MASS AND MUSCLE MASS AND DENSITY. IT’S THOSE THINGS WE NEED TO FIGURE OUT.”
LONGWORTH: IN 2007, MARK KELLY MARRIED GABBY GIFFORDS, WHO–AT THE TIME–WAS IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. A DEMOCRAT, FROM ARIZONA.
IN 2011, SHE WAS SHOT IN THE HEAD BY ONE OF HER CONSTITUENTS.
SHE SURVIVED, AND LATER THAT YEAR, KELLY RETIRED.
THE TWO BECAME ADVOCATES FOR GUN SAFETY LEGISLATION, AND IN 2019, KELLY ANNOUNCED HE’D BE RUNNING FOR SENATE.
HE WON AS A DEMOCRAT IN 2020.
AS OF JULY, 2022, HE VOTED IN LINE WITH PRESIDENT BIDEN 94% OF THE TIME, ACCORDING TO FIVE THIRTY EIGHT
NEARING THE MIDTERMS IN A PURPLE STATE, HE STARTED MOVING AWAY FROM STRICT PARTY LOYALTY. HE VOTED TO IMPOSE NEW SANCTIONS OVER THE NORD STREAM 2 PIPELINE, AND OPPOSED ENDING TITLE 42.
KELLY: “TITLE 42 WAS PUT IN PLACE BECAUSE OF A PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY. AND IT DOESN’T–IT SHOULDN’T BE AROUND FOREVER–BUT RIGHT NOW, THIS ADMINISTRATION DOESN’T HAVE A PLAN.”
LONGWORTH: KELLY’S ALSO BEGUN TO BLOCK SOME OF BIDEN’S NOMINATIONS, MAKING HIM JUST ONE NAME YOU NEED TO KNOW.