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Election Politics

Sen. McSally lands endorsements from astronauts over her astronaut opponent

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Three former astronauts penned an op-ed in support of Arizona Sen. Martha McSally (R) over her Democratic challenger and fellow astronaut Mark Kelly. The Arizona senate race is one of the most-watched in the country, and most polls still show Kelly with a big lead over McSally.

Retired astronauts Tom Stafford, Charlie Duke, and Jack Lousma wrote the piece for The Arizona Republic.

“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,” they wrote. “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.”

They also sang McSally’s praises for her work in Congress and for being one of the most bipartisan and effective senators.

“Just this year, she introduced legislation to lower the cost of prescription drugs, started the National Veterans Treatment Courts to help improve the lives of veterans, and she helped write the legislation that gave families and small businesses help to get through the novel coronavirus,” they wrote.

Stafford, Duke, and Lousma also attacked McSally’s opponent saying that being an astronaut doesn’t necessarily qualify you for the U.S. Senate.

“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,” they wrote. “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.”

The op-ed ended with the three former astronauts contrasting McSally and Kelly.

“McSally has delivered for Arizona, while Mark Kelly embraces Democrat ideology that would be bad for our country, leaving us with less freedoms, less security and less control of our lives. We know McSally is the fighter Arizona and our country need for this defining moment for future generations,” they concluded.

Kelly is the husband of former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords who survived an assassination attempt when a constituent opened fire at one of her town halls. If elected in November, he could be seated shortly after the election since the Arizona race is a special election.

Depending on how fast Republicans push through the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, this could mean Kelly would have a vote on the Supreme Court nominee.

PHOTO: Caitlin O’Hara/Getty Images

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