From Climate to Immigration, Here’s Where Mark Kelly Stands on Six Important Policies

Mark Kelly speaking on a stage

By Jessica Swarner

October 12, 2020

Kelly’s opponent, Sen. McSally, doesn’t include an “issues” section on her website. 

Capt. Mark Kelly, a former NASA astronaut and the husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, is facing off against Republican Martha McSally this fall as the Democratic candidate for a seat in the US Senate. 

McSally previously ran in 2018 but lost to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema. The Republican was then appointed to Arizona’s other Senate seat after John McCain died of brain cancer that year. 

McSally doesn’t include an “issues” section on her website. But to find out what she stands for, voters can look to President Donald Trump’s stances as her north star—according to FiveThirtyEight, McSally votes in line with Trump’s positions 95% of the time.

Kelly, on the other hand, outlines his positions on issues at the top of Arizonans minds. 

Here’s where he stands: 


Kelly does not question the danger climate change poses to the world. He calls for “massive” investment in renewable energy technologies to try to mitigate the effects. He has also condemned President Donald Trump for removing the US from the Paris climate agreement.

Economy and jobs

Kelly says he will be a “champion” for Arizona’s middle class. His plan includes ending tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and investing in long-term benefits to the county like infrastructure and research. 


Kelly believes in expanding access to early childhood education, paying teachers a living wage, investing in technical career training, and decreasing student debt by lowering interest rates and funding Pell Grants and other financial aid. 

Gun Safety 

Kelly’s wife Giffords was seriously injured in 2011 when a man shot her and 18 others at a constituent meeting near Tucson. Six people died. 

The traumatic event spurred the couple to fight to strengthen US gun laws by passing universal background checks, preventing domestic abusers from possessing guns, and supporting red flag laws, which allow judges to bar firearm access from people deemed to be dangerous. 

Health care

Kelly, who was treated for prostate cancer in 2007, says he believes health care is a right. He wants to protect people with pre-existing conditions, “take on” pharmaceutical companies to lower drug prices, and provide Americans with a public option for health insurance. 

Kelly also wants to protect Medicare and Social Security. He opposes funding cuts and other efforts to weaken them. 


Kelly says he wants to invest in technology and staffing to strengthen border security, and, “where effective,” physical barriers. 

He also supports the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows people brought to the US as children to avoid deportation, get a driver’s license, and work, among other protections. President Donald Trump’s administration has tried to end DACA. Despite a court ruling keeping the program in place, federal officials have refused to accept any new applications.

MORE: The Copper Courier’s Guide to Voting in Arizona in 2020


  • Jessica Swarner

    Jessica Swarner is the community editor for The Copper Courier. She is an ASU alumna and previously worked at KTAR News 92.3 FM in Phoenix.

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