Senator Mark Edward Kelly is an American businessman, politician, and retired Navy captain. He is serving as a junior U.S. Senator from Arizona from the Democratic Party. Before assuming office in 2020, Mark was an astronaut consultant and author. He was also a naval aviator during the Gulf War.
Born as a twin in New Jersey on February 21, 1965, Mark graduated from Mountain High School at age 18. He continued with a B.Sc in Marine Engineering from the U.S Merchant Marine Academy in 1986.
He earned his Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1994. While working as a naval aviator, he flew combat missions during the Gulf war.
Selected as a NASA Space Shuttle pilot, Mark began his astronaut training in 1996. His first trip was as a pilot of the space shuttle Endeavour in 2001. The shuttle carried astronauts and supplies to the International Space Station.
Senator Mark Kelly Political Career
In 2019, Kelly announced his intention to run as a Democrat for the U.S. Senate seat from Arizona. Jon Kyl held the seat, which was vacant after the death of Senator John McCain in 2018. But, Jon resigned, and Martha McSally took over. Kelly unseated McSally after winning the election the following year in 2020. He is the fifth Senator to be elected to Congress.
Senator Mark Kelly Accomplishments
Kelly’s administration pledges to provide a platform with a progressive plan for health care, security, social justice, border security, and immigration, among others. He supported incorporating a public health insurance option in the Affordable Care Act.
Kelly became a strong advocate for gun control after the attempted assassination of his wife at the Tucson shooting in 2011.
In 2013, Kelly and his wife started the Americans for Responsible Solutions. The political action committee focuses on providing solutions to gun violence and enhancing responsible gun ownership.
Kelly fostered strong border security and expressed his support for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Although he has shown his unwavering support for border security, he opposed the construction of the Trump wall in 2020. He has also critiqued President Biden’s approach to border security.
Senator Mark Kelly Criticism
In 2018, Kelly made a racial joke while speaking to a group of Boy Scouts in New Jersey. Kelly, while discussing physiological changes that his twin brother had while living in space.
He mentioned that he looked like an ape and thus, named Rodrigo. But, he tendered an apology after Republicans’ Moses Sanches recirculated the video.
Kelly is outspoken in his disdain for Donald Trump. Kelly voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial in 2021