A Recovering Giffords May Run for Senate

Thursday, 31 Mar 2011 08:02 AM

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Although Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is still recovering from the infamous gunshot to the head that nearly took her life, supporters and staff are busy murmuring that they are hopeful that she will rehabilitate in time to run for the seat that Senator Jon Kyl, a Republican, is vacating next year, The New York Times reports.

giffords, senate, kylMeanwhile, other prospective Democratic candidates are playing it cool. “I’m in but only if she’s not,” one prospective Democratic candidate told the Times. He spoke of his deliberations but insisted that he not be named. “A Democrat running against her would be doomed.”

A Democrat in her third term, Giffords had expressed interest in running for the Senate before a gunman opened fire at one of her “Congress on Your Corner” events in Tucson, Arizona.

“We are all rooting for Gabby to recover and run,” said Don Bivens, a former party chairman who himself is interested in the Senate seat. “She would be a great senator for Arizona. But we also need a Plan B.”

Supplementing the rumors and speculation, friends and allies of Giffords are making moves that indicate a possible run for Kyl’s seat, holding a fund-raiser for her on March 15 in Washington. Anything that goes in her Congressional campaign war chest, however, could be tapped for the Senate race.

Giffords has not been seen in public since Jan. 8, when a gunman opened fire at an event she was holding for constituents outside a Tucson supermarket, killing six and wounding 13, including Giffords, who was shot in the brain.

She is expected to take a break from her rehabilitation next month to see off her astronaut husband, Mark Kelly, during the launching of his shuttle at Florida's Kennedy Space Center.

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