HolyCoast: The Battle For Giffords' Seat

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Battle For Giffords' Seat

There's a special election in Arizona tomorrow to replace Rep. Gabby Giffords:
Republicans are focusing on President Obama, not Gabrielle Giffords, and sensing a chance to capture the former congresswoman's seat in southern Arizona.

Voters are deciding in Tuesday's special election whether Republican Jesse Kelly, who narrowly lost to Giffords in 2010, or Democrat Ron Barber, a former Giffords aide asked by the lawmaker to pursue the seat, will complete the remainder of her term.

Giffords relinquished the seat in January to concentrate on her recovery from a gunshot wound to the head. Giffords and Barber were injured in the January 2011 shooting rampage outside a Tucson grocery store that killed six people, including a 9-year-old girl and a federal judge, and wounded 11 others.

Giffords largely has shunned public appearances in the race, but in the closing days is stepping out to help Barber. She joined the candidate at a get-out-the-vote rally Saturday.

Holding onto the seat is crucial for Democrats if they want to regain control of the House.
Democrats have been trying to plant the idea that even running someone on the GOP side is somehow inappropriate given the reason Giffords is leaving the House, but Kelly is having none of it. Of course, there's no reason to run against Giffords, but there are lots of reasons to run against Obama and if Kelly wins the Dems will take another blow. Kelly also becomes the incumbent which won't hurt at all in November.

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