Mark Kelly's campaign raises over $1M in days after launching Senate bid

The Senate campaign for retired astronaut Mark Kelly has raised more than $1 million since he announced his candidacy on Tuesday, according to The Arizona Republic.

Rodd McLeod, Kelly's campaign spokesman, told the newspaper that it raised $1.1 million by the end of Wednesday.


Kelly, who turned to politics after his wife, former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) survived an assassination attempt, said that it raised about $604,000 in the first 24 hours.

"A huge thank you to everyone who saw our launch and joined our team yesterday. I'm new to this but I'm told we did well," he said on Twitter.

"We're without a DIME of corporate PAC money," he added.

The Republic noted that Kelly's funding haul is on pace with some presidential candidates. For example, Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharPoll: Nearly 4 in 5 say they will consider candidates' stances on cybersecurity The Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape Native American advocates question 2020 Democrats' commitment MORE (D-Minn.) raised about $1 million in the 48 hours after she launched her 2020 campaign to challenge President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump watching 'very closely' as Portland braces for dueling protests WaPo calls Trump admin 'another threat' to endangered species Are Democrats turning Trump-like? MORE

Kelly announced his bid to challenge Republican Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyAir Force probe finds no corroboration of sexual assault allegations against Trump pick Ex-FBI official names right-wing extremism one of the biggest security challenges for 2020 GOP senator eyes closing loophole to make domestic terrorism a federal crime MORE (R-Ariz.) in a video posted on Twitter on Tuesday. Kelly, who has spent more than 54 days in space across three NASA missions, said he would work ensure affordable health care and wage growth as a representative of Arizona. 

“Partisanship and polarization and gerrymandering and corporate money have ruined our politics, and it’s divided us,” Kelly said. “We’ve seen this retreat from science and data and facts, and if we don’t take these issues seriously, we can’t solve these problems.”

Kelly is so far the only Democrat to launch a campaign against McSally in the 2020 special election. She was appointed to fill the remainder of the late Sen. John McCain’s (R) term after McCain’s first replacement, Jon Kyl, stepped down at the end of last year. 

McSally came into her Senate position after losing to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) in November's midterm election.