Giffords aide to run for vacant House seat

With the resignation of Gabby Giffords, a special election will be held in June to fill her seat for the rest of the current term. While nothing is settled yet, one person has stepped up to throw his hat in the ring, and it’s none other than one of Giffords’ aides who was also injured in the same shooting, Ron Barber.

Ron Barber, an aide to former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) who was wounded in the shooting spree that also injured Giffords, will run to replace her in the House.

Barber announced Thursday he would run in the special election to replace Giffords, who resigned from Congress last month to focus on her recovery from the shooting. Giffords’s husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, said he and Giffords were supporting Barber’s campaign.

“While there will never be anyone who can fill Congresswoman Giffords’ shoes, I look forward to continuing her legacy of putting problem-solving before politics,” Barber said in announcing his candidacy.

Thus far, Barber hasn’t said whether he has any intention of running for a full term of his own, assuming he wins, but The Hill is reporting that some state Democrats said off the record that he would probably not do so.

Doing some quick checking, I didn’t find much in the way of background information as to Barber’s qualifications or any previous elected positions he may have held. Of course, any lengthy term of service as an aide working closely with a member is not to be entirely discounted, since you can learn a great deal about the day to day job requirements that way and meet a lot of your potential constituents. A number of past and present members of Congress have that particular item on their resume.

Adding to that, in a district which could wind up being a close, toughly contested fight for the Democrats, the party no doubt hopes that Barber’s close association with Giffords and his history of having been injured in the now infamous shooting will carry some of her shine over to him and win him some sympathy votes.

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