Gabby Giffords To Step Down From Congress

I can't lie, I'm a little teary from that video. Read this as I pull myself together:

Representative Gabrielle Giffords, a Democrat from Arizona whose unlikely recovery from a shooting last year stirred her colleagues and the nation, said Sunday that she would resign from Congress to focus on improving her health.[..]

Ms. Giffords’s decision to step down throws the race for her seat representing Arizona’s Eighth District into chaos. She barely fought off her Republican challenger in 2010, but was expected to be a shoo-in for re-election had she decided to run this year. The remainder of her term will be filled by the winner of a special election on a date to be determined by Gov. Jan Brewer.

Under Arizona law, a governor has 72 hours from the day the vacancy is declared to name the dates for special elections; the primary must take place 80 to 90 days from date of the vacancy followed by a general election 50 to 60 days after that.

Giffords' recovery thus far is nothing short of miraculous, considering that she was shot point blank in the head. She had been widely considered a shoo-in for re-election if she had opted to campaign again, but the exertions of a campaign and fundraising are not the kinds of things she needs to focus on. Arizona Democrats-- perhaps looking at John McCain and John Kyl in the Senate and Jan Brewer in the Governor's office--are naturally worried about losing this strong Democrat in the House and Gifford's husband, Cmdr Mark Kelly (ret.), was approached to run for his wife's former seat, but it looks like Kelly is not interested.

Giffords will reportedly attend the State of the Union speech on Tuesday before officially vacating her seat.


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