Gabrielle Giffords, survivor of an assassination attempt last year, has chosen Democrat Ron Barber as her successor to finish up the remaining six months Giffords has on the congressional seat.
According to unofficial returns, Barber led Republican Jesse Kelly by 7 percentage points. Barber defeated Giffords 2010 opponent. Fifty-two percent of votes in the Tucson-area were in favor for Barber.
According to Steve Israel, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair, “The Republican plan lost…Ron Barber’s Strong campaign made this a referendum on the Republican plans to drastically cut Medicare and privatize Social Security, while giving massive tax breaks to millionaires, Big Oil and corporations that ship jobs overseas.”
Barber told supporters, “Well, a year ago I’d never have dreamt I’d be standing here—but life takes unexpected turns and here we are… One more person deserves a very special thank-you tonight. You all know who I am talking about: Congresswoman Giffords. Gabby is my friend, and she is an inspiration to all of us. Gabby, we love you, and we are so grateful for your leadership and your dedication to this community. Thank you for everything you have done for us.”
Money was being poured into the moderate 8 District to influence the outcome. According to the LATimes Republicans outspent Democrats more than 2 to 1. Most of the money was being spent on TV ads attacking Barber.
Barber holds the seat until November when elections for a full two-year term begin.
Giffords gave up her congressional seat in January to focus on recovery from the shooting the previous year. Giffords was shot in the head and sustained a few injuries. Barber, as well, sustained a few injuries. The attack left 11 wounded and six killed, including a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl.