A former astronaut, in the race for the u.s. Senate

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The former u.s. astronaut Mark Kelly, whose wife, the former elected Gabrielle Giffords, was critically wounded by a gunman in 2011, launched on Tuesday in a “new mission” in announcing his candidacy for the Senate in 2020 under the label democrat.

Aged 54, he shows up in Arizona to replace republican John McCain, iconic character of american politics died in August 2018.

If he wins the democratic primary, he will face the incumbent republican Martha McSally, a former pilot of the Air force who was the first woman in the u.s. army at the controls of a fighter plane in combat.

A former pilot in the Navy, Mark Kelly has participated in the first Gulf war in 1991 and conducted a total of 39 combat missions, according to his campaign site.

He is the husband of Gabrielle Giffords, the former elected of the Congress, who was critically wounded in January 2011 in a mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona. She suffers from serious injuries, including partial paralysis of the body.

The couple has been fighting for for a greater control of sales of firearms.

“To solve some of the toughest problems, we need one thing: the team work “, said Mark Kelly in a video released on social networks.

Among his campaign themes, he quotes a health insurance reform, the stagnation of wages, employment and climate change, and denounces the distance made him by the authorities with ” the science, data and facts “, an allusion to the republican administration of Donald Trump.

Mark Kelly has made the first of his missions with Nasa in 2001, spending more than 50 days in space, including in the international space Station, before retiring in 2011.

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His twin brother, Scott, has followed the same career and held for a moment the world record for time spent in space, with 520 days. He retired in 2016.