The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

81° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Giffords’ aide runs for seat

Jim O’Rourke
Jim O’Rourke / Arizona Daily Wildcat A one year anniversary memorial service was held to remember those who were effected by the Jan. 8 shootings on the UofA Mall on Sunday. Among those who spoke were Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Mark Kelly and Peter Rhee MD.

WASHINGTON — A former aide to Gabrielle Giffords who was wounded in the shooting that nearly took her life announced his candidacy for a special election to replace the Arizona Democrat in Congress.

Ron Barber, who served as Giffords’ district director, said he would work to continue her legacy of putting politics aside to solve problems.

“My commitment is to be honest with the people of this district and help restore civility to our public life,” Barber said in a prepared statement announcing his candidacy. “My first priority won’t be the next election — but the next generation.”

Giffords resigned from Congress Jan. 25, just over a year after a gunman shot her in the head at point-blank range as she met with constituents at a Tucson supermarket. She said she wanted to focus solely on her recovery.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has called for a special primary election to be held on April 17, with the general election to follow on June 12 to fill the 8th District seat.

The Republican field includes Jesse Kelly, who was Giffords’ opponent in her bid for a third term in 2010.

Barber was struck twice — in his cheek and leg — during the same Jan. 8 shooting spree. He relies on a cane and leg brace to walk, and was also diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Barber told reporters in a conference call that he had not decided whether he would also run in the regular election in November in the newly drawn 2nd District, crafted after the decennial redistricting process.

Giffords submitted her resignation last month during an emotional ceremony on the House floor, one day after she attended the State of the Union address.

One of her final acts was voting on legislation she wrote to give law enforcement greater authority to address the transport of illegal drugs using light aircraft across the U.S.-Mexico border. Giffords, who endorsed Barber on Thursday, will attend a bill-signing ceremony planned in the Oval Office on Friday, according to the White House.

More to Discover
Activate Search