Photo: Former Astronaut, Jose Hernandez, Running for Congress in California (VIDEO)
On October 11t, Jose Hernandez, a retired NASA astronaut, announced that he is looking to become the newly-created 10th District’s congressional representative.
After encouragement from President Obama, Hernandez decided to run for the U.S. House of Representatives, and announced his candidacy on Tuesday via a link on Twitter, which sent users to his campaign website. Even the first lady has offered to help him campaign.
The 49-year-old was born in French Camp, California to Mexican immigrant parents.
Tuesday, Hernandez told the Associated Press, “I’ve worked hard and haven’t taken any shortcuts, and I’ve got this country to thank for it. It has been possible in this country for people like me to live the American Dream, and that’s what I want to make sure I preserve.”
The self-proclaimed moderate Democrat says he will run his campaign on ending U.S. military presence in Ira and Afghanistan in order to free up the $10 billion which is spent each year.
Hernandez joined the Johnson Space Center in 2001, and was selected by NASA as an astronaut candidate in 2004. After finishing his astronaut training in 2006, Hernandez worked at with the Kennedy Space Center to support Shuttle launch and preparations.
On August 28, 2009, Hernandez went into space as a mission specialist on the STS-128 mission. He became the first person to use Spanish in space while tweeting.
Hernandez and his wife have five children, aged 8 to 17. He says he is looking for a home within the 10th district.