Kelly discounts speculation of life in politics

AP News
Posted: Jul 01, 2011 5:00 PM
Kelly discounts speculation of life in politics

Mark Kelly, the astronaut husband of wounded congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, dismissed speculation that he is interested in running for political office now that he is retiring from NASA.

Kelly has been mentioned as a potential candidate for office in Giffords' home state of Arizona, particularly for the seat of retiring Republican Sen. Jon Kyl. But the commander of the space shuttle, Endeavour, told an audience at the National Press Club on Friday that his main focus now and for the foreseeable future would be to spend more time with his children and take care of his wife as she seeks to recover from a January shooting in Tucson.

"She's the politician in the family," Kelly said of the three-term Democratic congresswoman. "I'm the space guy, and I see no reason to change that now."

Giffords, 41, is undergoing outpatient therapy in Houston. In recent weeks, she has visited her hometown of Tucson and made her first public appearance during an awards ceremony for her husband. She has not said when, or if, she'll return to Congress. However, Democratic colleagues are hopeful that she'll be able to run again and have held fundraisers on her behalf.

Kelly was speaking along with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden Jr. about the future of NASA during a luncheon. Kelly's comments about his own future came at the end of his remarks. He said that he found the speculation about his plans interesting but said it meant it must be a slow summer.