'Instant Replay' in Gabby Giffords' Old House District

Thursday, 18 Jul 2013 04:45 PM

By John Gizzi

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One of the closest U.S. House races in the nation is apparently going to be re-run in Arizona's 2nd District next year.

In 2012, Martha McSally, retired U.S. Air Force colonel and political newcomer, actually led Democratic Rep. Ron Barber by about 1,000 votes on Election Day. But after the counting of provisional ballots, Barber turned the table and won by about 1,400 votes.

McSally recently signaled she is definitely running again and state and national Republicans assured Newsmax she will be the GOP nominee again.

The tightness of the 2012 race aside, McSally vs. Barber is sure to draw national interest because the southern Arizona district was held from 2006-11 by Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who survived a near-fatal shooting in 2011.

After Giffords resigned to devote full time to her recovery, her longtime top aide Barber won the seat in a special election.

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, a California Republian who has worked to recruit Republican House candidates, recently said that several of the "near-miss" contenders in 2012 should be given a second chance in 2014.

McSally, who was also a fighter pilot, clearly caught voters' imagination as a veteran and political outsider.

But in the twilight days of the 2012 campaign, Barber slammed McSally over a questionnaire in which her position was listed as "prohibiting abortion except where it is necessary to prevent the death of the mother."

The Democrat hit hard with a TV spot charging McSally opposes abortion "even in the cases of rape, incest or protecting women’s health."

The Republican hopeful explained that this was not her position and, like the last three Republican presidential nominees, she also favors exceptions in instances of rape or incest.

So an instant replay is in play in Arizona's Second District and one that national politicians and pundits are sure to hear a lot about before November of 2014 rolls around.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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