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Mark Kelly Guest Speaker at Democrats Breakfast

Sedona AZ – Retired astronaut Mark Kelly, 55, launched his candidacy for an Arizona U.S. Senate seat in February 2019 after a 314 Action Fund draft campaign. Kelly, a registered Independent until 2018, will be the speaker at a special breakfast hosted by Democrats of the Red Rocks on Thursday, May 16, 8:00 a.m. at the Sedona Elks Lodge, 110 Airport Road, Sedona. The event is open to the public and the cost is $15 which includes a buffet breakfast. Guests can pay at the door. Seating is limited to 100.

Father of two daughters with first wife Amelia Babis, Kelly was born in Orange, New Jersey to two police officers. He wants “to bring science to Congress” and has logged more than 54 days in space across four NASA missions and piloted the final flight of space shuttle Endeavor. He is the twin brother of Scott Kelly of International Space Station renown, the only known siblings to have traveled in space. Kelly serves on several corporate boards and works with Worldview, an aerospace company he co-founded and, as co-founder of the anti gun Giffords PAC, is credited with unseating Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo) and Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) among other supporters of Second Amendment gun rights in prior elections.

Mark Kelly, candidate for AZ Senate seat

Following a 2004 divorce, Kelly married former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) in 2007. The couple became nationally known following a 2011 targeted political “Congress on Your Corner” event that involved his wife’s attempted assassination when an emotionally unstable 22-year old Pima Community College student shot Rep. Giffords and 18 others outside a supermarket in Arizona’s Eighth District, six of whom died – including a federal District Court chief judge and Tucson third grader, Christina Taylor Green. Rep. Giffords survived the attack with a severe brain injury. In 2012, after being diagnosed several times as a paranoid schizophrenic unable to stand trial, the gunman was sentenced to life in federal prison for the murders and attempted murders.

Kelly was not at the 2011 event but in Houston training for a shuttle mission. He said the shooting made him realize that when bad things happen, “you’ve got to move and try to make a difference in the world.” He went on to say, “I care about people, I care about the state of Arizona, I care about this nation, and because of that, I’ve decided that I’m launching a campaign for the United States Senate.”

While serving Arizona, Rep. Giffords had been a strong supporter of increased border security and addressed it as a priority upon taking office. She asked for modern border security; drones, radar and electronic surveillance as well as increased funding for border walls and maintenance, and demanded the hiring of more border patrol agents which was finally signed into law by President Barack Obama in August 2010. Rep. Giffords and a bipartisan group of lawmakers from five states had requested 1,200 National Guard soldiers and $500 million be sent by President Obama to protect communities from drug cartels and smugglers and joined a House majority to approve $701 million for border security. Giffords then admonished the Obama administration that support for the border took far too long, saying, “The first responsibility of government is to protect its citizens from harm. The Senate failed in meeting this responsibility when it voted against border security funding.” Giffords and 18 other Democrats famously voted against Nancy Pelosi for Democratic Leader in 2011.

According to major news sources, it is unclear where Mark Kelly, a strong proponent of gun control as co-founder of Giffords PAC which (between its PAC and nonprofit) spent nearly $7 million to aid Democratic congressional candidates in 2018 (Rep. Ron Barber in 2014 received $2 million and the PAC’s lobbying presence spent $430,000 in 2018 on mostly gun control legislation), stands on Democratic Party and national issues including border security. Kelly has said on live television that he does not support Medicare for All, but has not given a firm answer on the Green New Deal, considered an extreme social policy by bipartisan lawmakers as well as fiscally untenable by the CBO.

To meet and learn more about Mark Kelly’s candidacy for Arizona Senate, attend the DORR breakfast meeting and bring your questions.

Democrats of the Red Rocks is an all-volunteer Democratic Club for Sedona, the Village of Oak Creek, the Verde
Valley and surrounding communities, that welcomes all independent-minded community members. The DORR office is located at 105 Roadrunner Plaza, Suite 2A.

For more DORR information, call 928-212-1357 or visit www.democratsoftheredrocks.org.

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3 Comments

  1. Ernie says:

    Clearly this fellow isn’t from the same mold as his wife. Good to read this broad introduction by DORR. He’s very progressive and I’m unsure if that’s what Arizona needs when our state budgets are balanced and our lifestyles are being sought by liberals escaping California and his own New Jersey taxes and culture. Will give him a listen, can’t promise a vote.

  2. Bruce says:

    Since he isn’t a strong supporter of the 2nd A, I’m done listening. The rest of their platform is ludicrous bait for the Free S@#$ Army crowd. I swear, they’re in a power dive to oblivion.

  3. John Doe says:

    @Bruce
    I’ve found anti 2nd Amendment can’t support police officers doing their jobs because they think they’re smarter than police and people dealt with daily. I think every single council and staff person needs to ride along for a month with a trooper and it be part of their job descriptions. The city manager and staffer and council needs to ride along for a month, every day and every night. Then talk to us about how and what you saw and feel. We don’t care about your opinions otherwise. They need to attend gang information presentations. They need to be at every community meeting.

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