The race between Sen. Martha McSally and former astronaut turned gun control activist Mark Kelly has been one to watch all campaign season. So far, Kelly appears to be holding an edge it he polls, though after 2016, we should all know not to take polls too seriously.
The battle between the two, though, is one of the key fights over the Senate, one parties on all sides are paying special attention to.
Now, there’s been some interesting endorsements in that race.
Three former astronauts have endorsed Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., ahead of the special election against Democratic nominee and astronaut Mark Kelly on Nov. 3.
“As former fighter pilots and test pilots, we know what it takes to get in the cockpit of a fighter jet for a test flight or combat: incredible determination, strength and grit,” former astronauts Tom Stafford, Charlie Duke and Jack Lousma wrote in an op-ed published Thursday in The Arizona Republic. “That’s why we support Sen. Martha McSally. As the first woman in U.S. history to fly a fighter jet in combat and command a fighter squadron, she broke barriers in the Air Force and the military.”
The three men noted that despite the Air Force previously not allowing women to fly in combat, McSally “stood up, fought for change and made strides for generations of women to follow her” rather than following the status quo. The senator was the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat.
However, they didn’t limit their comments to praise for McSally, either.
Oh no, they also took aim at Kelly.
“As astronauts and veterans, we honor the service of every single American who has served their country alongside us. But having ‘astronaut’ on your resume does not mean you’d be a good U.S. senator,” the former astronauts argued. “Mark Kelly is hoping Arizonans are so impressed with his background that they ignore the fact that he’s supported radical gun control activists, that his plan for the eventual government takeover of health care would end Medicare as we know it, and that he’d vote to raise our taxes.”
They also blasted Kelly for not being forthcoming on his stances regarding what they describe as the Democratic Party’s “more extreme” policy stances, including defunding the police, ICE abolishment, the Green New Deal and government-controlled health care.
“On some of the more extreme policies of the Democrat Party, Mark has tried to stay quiet,” the group added. “We can only think of one reason: He doesn’t want to answer for his liberal political views and policies and those of his party.”
The part about having “astronaut” on the resume not meaning someone would be a good senator is directly on point. However, that and a gun control activist is about all that Kelly is bringing to the table. After all, what has he actually done otherwise?
Kelly has never held a public office before. He’s got a bit of name recognition, sure, but other than that, he has no relevant experience for the job.
And those astronauts are right about the most likely reason Kelly won’t comment on those other policy standpoints. Either he shares those opinions and he knows it won’t win votes, or he doesn’t but is afraid to lose party backing if he speaks out. Neither warms my heart in the least, to be sure.
Let’s just hope Arizona voters feel the same way.