Mark Kelly Seen as a Possible Heir to Gabrielle Giffords' Political Career


"We have a habit, I certainly do, of pounding down the door whether it be for school board, legislature, Congress, or Senate," Rogers said. "We actively recruit people who would be the best candidateā€¦I think he knows if he were to express an interest all of us would rally around him very quickly because of our great love and respect for Gabby and our love for him as well."

An Arizona Democratic strategist with ties to Kelly and Giffords agreed that Kelly is very focused on the gun control issue, but noted for Kelly "this is not about one piece of legislation or one speech. He understands this is a long term process."

"So having said that, do I think he's interested in a run in the future?" the strategist asked. "I think it's on the list of things he's interested in particularly once his daughters are both in college."

"It's always exciting when you have someone who is well known, has access to money, and obviously the guy was an astronaut, a Navy fighter pilot. He's larger than life," the strategist said.

Andy Barr, a former Democratic operative in Arizona who still has close ties in the state said Kelly is "fully focused on Americans for Responsible Solutions" right now.

"It's a very ambitious effort they've undertaken and I think that's taking all up all of his time and energy," Barr, who is now a Democratic political operative in Washington D.C., said. "That said it's clearly a good sign of how effective he is and compelling he is that a lot of people want to see him run. If he wanted to do that he would be a very effective and strong candidate. Right now I understand from a lot of people who work with them he is fully focused on the effort."

"I haven't seen an indication from him that he wants to," Barr said, but added with his credentials Democrats in the state would be "lobbying him to do so."

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