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Rep. Ruben Gallego endorses US Senate candidate Mark Kelly

(Mark Kelly Campaign Photo)

PHOENIX — U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego has endorsed former NASA astronaut and Navy pilot Mark Kelly for Arizona’s 2020 U.S. Senate race.

“Let’s get him elected and take back the Senate!” Gallego tweeted Monday about the Democratic candidate and husband of former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Gallego, a Phoenix Democrat who considered running for the seat himself, will stump for Kelly up through the election.

Kelly announced his campaign in February and raised $4 million in his first fundraising quarter.

Gallego announced in late March that he didn’t want to engage in a bitter primary and would rather focus on getting a Democrat into the seat formerly occupied by Republican Sen. John McCain.

Republican U.S. Sen. Martha McSally was appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey to the seat in December following McCain’s death from brain cancer in August 2018.

According to a press release, Gallego said at a campaign event that Kelly “is the candidate that can go toe-to-toe with McSally.”

Gallego pledged to “be out there advocating, stumping for him, making sure that we’re getting out the Latino vote, getting out the youth vote, getting out the veteran vote — everything we can to make sure we have another successful run for the Senate.”

Kelly is the only declared Democratic candidate for the seat so far.

The person elected will serve alongside Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who was elected to Jeff Flake’s seat in November.

The 2020 election will decide who finishes the last two years of McCain’s term. The winner will have to run again for a full six-year term in 2022.

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