Sunday, February 24, 2019

Mark Kelly defines his next 'mission' in his campaign for U. S. Senate.

Ever since Mark Kelly announced his run for the U. S. Senate there have been concerns about his positions. Rather, the concern is about the absence of clear stands. For example, Mark Kelly’s Arizona Senate Run Could Spark A Clash With The Left reported the Huffington Post.

Democratic operatives are ecstatic about Mark Kelly’s decision to run against appointed Arizona Republican Sen. Martha McSally in 2020. He’s a dream candidate: a naval aviator-turned-astronaut who’s made four trips to space, the husband of a Democratic Party star who survived an assassination attempt, a gun control advocate who’s helped a nationwide network of candidates and built a matching network of donors.

The Post referred to his candidacy as “The Next Mission For An Undefined Candidate” and went on to explain.

Kelly’s strengths are readily apparent. As the leader of Giffords, the gun control group named for his wife, shooting victim and former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), he’s become a high-profile advocate on a key issue for the Democratic base and played a major role in raising and spending more than $17 million for candidates across the country last cycle.

His introductory video, however, makes little mention of his gun control work, instead focusing on the rest of his biography: The son of a woman who became one of the first female police officers in the 1970s, he joined the Navy, flew combat missions in Operation Desert Storm and become an astronaut alongside his twin brother. He then left NASA to help Giffords with her recovery.

The sterling biography, however, hides a candidate who is still ideologically undefined. In the launch video, Kelly makes his opposition to gerrymandering and refusal to take corporate PAC money clear, but how he would solve other problems mentioned in the video ― high health care costs, wage stagnation ― is left unsaid. As one [Ruben] Gallego ally, granted anonymity to speak about Kelly’s weaknesses, said: “We still don’t know a lot about Mark.”

Kelly does take a firm stance on his belief in man-made climate change. 314 Action, a group that backs scientists for office, cited that as a reason to quickly endorse him. “Very few people have had the type of view Mark has of the damage climate change has done to our planet,” said Josh Morrow, the group’s executive director, referring to Kelly’s time in outer space.

Scriber thinks that all that will change as Kelly gets further into his campaign. Kelly addressed an enthusiastic crowd in his kick-off rally yesterday and staked out positions on most (all?) issues of concern to Dems. Mark Kelly Launches US Senate Campaign to Huge Cheering Crowd in Tucson reports Larry Bodine at Blog for Arizona.

On a sparkling spring day in Tucson, Democrat Mark Kelly announced his candidacy for US Senate to a packed outdoor audience at the Hotel Congress in Tucson.

“This campaign is a mission for Arizona. This is a mission to lift up hardworking Arizonans, making Arizona safe and secure, to give every family in this state access to affordable healthcare, and to make sure wages grow for the middle class,” the former astronaut said. “I have traveled many miles to stand here today — 22 million miles, I think.”

Kelly invited several hundred people gathered to hear him to join his mission:

  • If you want to reward work over wealth, join us.
  • If you believe our strength is our middle class, and not the upper class join us.
  • If you think affordable health care is a right and want lower prescription drug prices, this is the mission for you.
  • If you know that Medicare and Social Security are earned, and we have to keep our promises to our seniors, sign up today.
  • If you want college to be affordable and you want to make sure there are opportunities for good paying jobs for Americans who will not go to college, join us.
  • If you believe we need to protect our children, our kids, from being shot in their classrooms or walking to school, that we need to make our communities safer from gun violence, please be part of this mission.
  • If you want to take care of veterans and provide for the care and services they need, this is the team for you.
  • If you know it’s long past time that we fix our broken immigration services, join us.
  • If you believe that securing our border but doing it smartly, and not demonizing people and breaking up families, join this mission.
  • If you understand that keeping Arizona habitable for our kids means addressing climate change today, we need you on board.
  • If you want to put people ahead of corporate special interests and lobbyists and get dark money out of politics, we need you.
  • If you feel in your heart the urgency of this moment, the importance of this election, join this mission for Arizona.

That list moves Kelly toward being a candidate who is more ideologically defined.

Kelly is running against the unpopular Republican Sen. Martha McSally, who ignored her constituents for two terms in Congress, lost the 2018 race for US Senate, and got into office only by appointment by the Governor.

A new poll conducted in the days after Kelly said he would run for a U.S. Senate seat puts him in a statistical tie with Sen. Martha McSally. Meanwhile, Kelly raised more than $1 million in the first 24 hours after his announcement Feb. 12 that he was running.

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