WASHINGTON -- Mark Kelly, husband of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz), said Friday he's not interested in running for public office. At least, not anytime soon.
Kelly, an astronaut, joked about rumors that he may run for Arizona's open Senate seat next year or his wife's House seat if she chooses not to run. Giffords is still recovering from a gunshot wound to the head in January and it remains unclear whether she will return to Congress.
"It must be a really, really slow summer out there" if people are speculating about my political ambitions, Kelly said during a National Press Club event on NASA activities.
"I'll go into more detail about that next week when I visit Iowa and New Hampshire," he said to laughter.
"In all seriousness, my main focus right now, and for the foreseeable future, is Gabby's recovery and also spending some more time with my kids," Kelly said. "She's the politician in the family; I'm the space guy. I see no reason to change that right now."
Indeed, Kelly, who commanded the last flight of the Endeavor shuttle, reaffirmed his commitment to ensuring that America stays a leader in human spaceflight.
"I love her very much," Kelly said of his wife. "But I also say I love the space shuttle very much."
But he also appeared to leave the door open to an entry into public office last month when he announced his retirement from NASA, effective Oct. 1.
"After some time off, I will look at new opportunities and am hopeful that one day I will again serve our country," Kelly said at the time in a statement.