2020 Democratic Candidate for U.S. Senator from Arizona | Former Astronaut and Navy Captain
With control of the U.S. Senate in play, the 2020 race for John McCain’s Arizona seat is critical. Democrat Mark Kelly, the former astronaut and Navy captain, will compete in the general election against Republican incumbent Senator Martha McSally, who was appointed to the seat upon McCain’s passing in 2018. The race is technically a special election to determine who will serve out the two years remaining on McCain’s term. The victor will have to run again in 2022.
Arizona is also a border state with a rising Hispanic electorate. As such, Kelly — who gained national recognition as a gun regulation advocate following the 2011 non-fatal shooting of his wife, then-Congresswoman Gabby Giffords — has been defining his positions on immigration policy.
While some of his positions might be more centrist than others in his party — he does not, for instance, support providing government-run healthcare to undocumented immigrants — Kelly is focused on the same core issues: passing the DREAM Act, stopping family separations at the border, and conceiving of a more nuanced and varied approach to border security instead of a single, continuous wall.
Kelly is also relying heavily on his military credentials, fervently stating that active-duty military should not be stationed at the border. In a 2019 interview he said, “Our military is designed to handle national security threats . . . typically overseas. To deploy active-duty military troops at the border, I personally don’t think that’s the right approach. They’re not trained for that.”