This is the first of my 2020 endorsements; I plan on at least three more in the coming days. I know it has become political rhetoric but the 2020 election may well be the most important election of my lifetime and yours also. To me the future of America, the planet and democracy is at stake. As far as most Americans are concerned the main attraction is the race for the White House; in my opinion it is the race for control of the Senate. With that in mind please continue reading.
Arizona is a purple state in the process of turning blue and one of its Senate seats is up for grabs in November of 2020. The seat’s recent history is rather interesting. The late John McCain was reelected to it in 2016. McCain died on August 25, 2018. Republican Governor Doug Ducey appointed former Republican Senator Jon Kyl to it. After Kyl completed his assignment and Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court, Kyl announced he was re-retiring at the end of the year. In 2018 Arizonans elected Kyrsten Sinema to the Senate over Martha McSally. After McSally’s electoral defeat Governor Ducey thumbed his nose at the voters of Arizona and small “d” democracy by appointing McSally, the candidate the voters had just rejected, to the seat. Today McSally is the incumbent and is running to keep her seat. My outline of the seat’s history is incomplete but today it represents one of the Democrat’s best pick up opportunities in 2020.
While there have been and to this day remain some difficulties in Democrats getting their best candidate to run for the Senate in 2020 in several states, Arizona is not one of them. Mark Kelly was the “number one draft choice” and with good reason!
Kelly burst on the scene in a most unfortunate way. He is the husband of former Representative Gabby Giffords who was the victim of an assassination attempt on January 8, 2011. That put him on our radar screens but it is what he accomplished prior to that and has achieved since that merits endorsement.
Kelly graduated from the Merchant Marine Academy and entered the Navy. He rose to the rank of Captain (remember in the Navy Captain is the rank immediately below Admiral). He was a heavily decorated pilot and flew over 39 missions in Operation Desert Storm. His last assignment was as an astronaut during which he went into outer space several times. He retired on June 21, 2011 to help his wife recover from her extremely serious wounding in the assassination attempt. That says a lot about his character!
Since then Kelly has been mostly associated with defending the Second Amendment while simultaneously advocating for common sense gun regulations and practices. That makes him a man of the people even in a gun loving state like Arizona. I know my foreign readers have a difficult time understanding it but guns are part of American culture.
While it has received less publicity Kelly is also an environmental advocate. In my book that is crucially important. It’s simple; there is no Planet B.
I’m not among those who make it a litmus test for endorsement but it is good to see that Kelly is refusing PAC money. Incidentally he is among the 2020 Senate candidate fundraising leaders; enough money to run a viable campaign and not beholden to any powerful interest(s).
Arizona is a southern border state and therefore immigration is a major “local issue” with a direct impact on many of the voters. Kelly favors strong borders using whatever means make the most sense in any particular location. That includes technology (including e-verify), personnel and physical barriers or a combination. There is no one size fits all solution and Kelly realizes that. We can have a secure border by utilizing sensible solutions and remaining human. Despite Republican rhetoric to the contrary no Democrat, most certainly including Mark Kelly, favors open borders.
Another key plank in Kelly’s platform is affordable health care including affordable drugs. A wonder drug and a skilled physician who prescribes it are both useless if you can’t afford the drug.
The capsule analysis is that Mark Kelly is a practical progressive who can flip a Senate seat and will make America a more perfect union. Tellthetruthonthem.com is proud to make Mark Kelly its first endorsement of the 2020 election season.
This article was written well ahead of publishing in order to accommodate my travel schedule.
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