Amelia Victoria Babis is the former wife of astronaut Mark Kelly, who announced on February 12, 2019, that he was running to represent Arizona in the Senate as a Democrat. He is vying for the late Senator John McCain’s seat, which Martha McSally was appointed to fill until a 2020 special election.
Kelly is now married to former congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who famously survived a gunshot to the head during a 2011 meet-and-greet with constituents. He addressed the attack in a video to launch his campaign.
Kelly and Giffords tied the knot in 2007, three years after his divorce from Babis. Kelly and Babis have two children together and were married for 15 years.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Amelia Babis & Mark Kelly Tied the Knot in 1989, Had Two Daughters & Were Married for 15 Years
Amelia Victoria Babis married Mark Kelly in 1989. They had two daughters together: Claudia Helen Kelly was born in 1995 and Claire Sophia Kelly followed in 1997.
They raised their daughters in Texas. Online property records in Galveston County show they were living in League City, Texas, at the time of their divorce in 2004.
2. Amelia Babis Kept the House in the Divorce; Mark Kelly Continued to Live There Until 2005
Amelia Babis and Mark Kelly got divorced in 2004. They have kept quiet about the reasoning for their split. Kelly reportedly kept living in their family home until 2005. Kelly first met Gabby Giffords in 2003, but reportedly did not go on their first date until after Kelly and Babis had split.
Babis was granted the house in the divorce, according to Galveston County public records. The document dated September 17, 2004, stated that Kelly “grants, sells and conveys to Grantee all of Grantor’s interest in the property.” According to Zillow, their home in League City, Texas, was 3,300 square feet and was originally built in 1909. We have blacked out the exact address in the official document.
3. Amelia Babis Kelly Kept Her Ex-Husband’s Last Name
Amelia Babis took Mark Kelly’s last name when they got married and she has kept it since the divorce. She uses the nickname “Amy” on her Instagram account, which also includes Babis Kelly in the profile name.
Her page is filled with pictures of dogs. She has several with a dog she refers to as “baby baby bella bella boom boom.”
Babis’ account has one image of her daughter Claire from when she was a small child. The caption reads, “Throw back Thursday… My Claire-bear making pierogies with grandma! #joycebabis #bestgrandma #mypolishcutie #kitchen #funtimes #memories❤😊”
4. Amelia Babis’ Political Views Appear to Be Mixed, Based on Her Twitter Handle
Amelia Babis Kelly is not very active on social media. But her Twitter account provides clues as to her political affiliation. Ex-husband Mark Kelly is running for the Senate as a Democrat.
But Babis appears to be more mixed in her political views. In October of 2013, she appeared to support the Affordable Care Act by retweeting a post by Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The tweet read, “The #GOPShutdown is all in the name of denying people #Obamacare. Good thing it’s law and already up and running.”
In 2015, she tweeted a few times about the GOP debates. She wrote in September of 2015, “Not a big fan of Jeb but that was great… “My bother kept us safe”. #debate.” Babis shared that she thought Rand Paul “was a bit of a waste.” And in May of 2015, she praised Fox News commentator Sean Hannity, “Sean Hannity… Wow! Intense! This needs to be addressed! Tough topic and he is asking the questions. #❤️Hannity.”
5. Amelia Babis’ Daughters Both Live in Arizona
Amelia Babis Kelly’s daughters both live in Arizona. Claire, now 21, is pursuing a career in journalism. She is a student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. Claire shared her father’s video on February 12 and added, “I am so proud of my dad for announcing his bid for U.S. Senate in Arizona.”
Older daughter Claudia, 24, works in Tucson. According to her Linkedin profile, she works for a spaceflight company called World View as a Business Opportunity Manager. Claudia explains on her page that in her professional career, she has “traveled to nearly 2 dozen countries, from navigating through the Arctic to doing community agricultural service in Nicaragua and has engaged in leadership training programs in use by the United States Military and NASA for team building, conflict resolution, and environmental ethics.”
Claudia and Claire appear to have a solid relationship now with their stepmother, Gabby Giffords. They appeared alongside their father for an interview with Ellen Degeneres in November of 2011. They explained that when their father married Giffords, they were not close with their stepmom in part because they did not see her very often. The girls lived in Texas and Giffords was traveling between Arizona and Washington, D.C. Claudia described the shooting as a wake-up call, and that Giffords’ survival gave them a second chance to connect with her.