Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer is planning to call a special election in April to fill the congressional seat left vacant by Gabrielle Giffords' resignation today.
“Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has been a noble public servant to the State of Arizona, and a model of what can be accomplished with persistence and determination. Her remarkable recovery over the last year is an inspiration to us all," Brewer said in a statement.
Giffords is expected to give her resignation to Brewer shortly after President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday night.
“Upon the Congresswoman’s office being officially declared vacant, I will call a special Primary and General Election in order to fill the 8th Congressional District vacancy, in accordance with Arizona law. The winner will complete the remainder of Congresswoman Giffords’ term, which expires at the end of 2012," Brewer said.
Giffords has been recovering from a point-blank shot to the head about a year ago during an event she held in Tucson. The Democratic congresswoman survived the attack but six people were killed and a dozen were injured.
Before Giffords had made her announcement, there had been talk in Arizona political circles about who might replace her if she did resign. Several candidates established exploratory committees to test the waters for a possible run.
Republican state Sen. Frank Antenori, R-Tucson, and Dave Sitton, a University of Arizona sports broadcaster, are among those with interest in the seat. Jesse Kelly, Giffords' 2010 GOP opponent, may run again. Republican Adam Hansen of Bisbee also has announced his candidacy.
Democratic state legislators Paula Aboud, Steve Farley and Matt Heinz of Tucson have been mentioned as possible Giffords replacements.
Giffords' chief of staff Pia Carusone and state director Ron Barber have been mentioned as well.
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