February 20, 2020 Press Releases

Mark Kelly Releases “Growing Up,” First Television Ad of Campaign


Mark Talks About Growing Up the Son of Two Police Officers & How He Overcame His Struggles in School to Serve in Navy, NASA — “…my hope for Arizona is that everybody has the conditions and an environment that allows anybody to accomplish anything they want”

Today, Mark Kelly for Senate released “Growing Up,” the first TV ad of the campaign which features Mark Kelly sharing in his own words how his struggles in school as a young kid and his upbringing as the son of two proud police officers shaped him into the person he is today. Mark Kelly tells Arizonans that he was inspired by his parents’ public service to buckle down and pursue his goals to become a combat pilot and astronaut, and how those experiences have motivated him to ensure all Arizonans have the opportunity to achieve their dreams.

Click HERE to view “Growing Up”

“If somebody told me when I was 16 years old that I’d reach my dream of flying a Navy jet and commanding the space shuttle twice, I probably wouldn’t have believed you,” Kelly says in the ad. “My parents didn’t have a lot of extra money, but you could comfortably raise a family on a middle-class income, and it doesn’t work so well today. Now my hope for Arizona is that everybody has the conditions and an environment that allows anybody to accomplish anything they want, if they’re just willing to work hard at it.”

Below is the transcript for “Growing Up”:

[Mark]: I was not always a good student. Like a lot of young kids, I had a hard time paying attention.

I said to my dad, “I thought I would go to college.” And he said, “Really? You?” And it was the big wake-up call for me. 

I think I always had high expectations of where I would get without always coming up with the plan, especially at a young age.

Both my parents were very proud of their careers in law enforcement. I always thought public service was incredibly important.

If somebody told me when I was 16 years old that I’d reach my dream of flying a Navy jet and commanding the space shuttle twice, I probably wouldn’t have believed you.

My parents didn’t have a lot of extra money, but you could comfortably raise a family on a middle-class income, and it doesn’t work so well today.

Now my hope for Arizona is that everybody has the conditions and an environment that allows anybody to accomplish anything they want, if they’re just willing to work hard at it. 

I’m Mark Kelly and I approve this message.

[End]

Both of Kelly’s parents were police officers, including his mother who was one of the first female police officers in his community growing up. Kelly attended the Merchant Marine Academy before being commissioned as an officer in the United States Navy, where he made two deployments to the Middle East and flew 39 combat missions during Operation Desert Storm. Kelly was selected by NASA to be an astronaut in 1996 and made four trips to space, twice as the commander of the space shuttle. Kelly and his wife, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, live in Tucson.

Click HERE to view “Growing Up” on Youtube and HERE to view it with Spanish subtitles.