Democrats Spurn Member's Challenge to Giffords

Thursday, 25 Aug 2011 02:50 PM

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A Democrat faces criticism from his own party after announcing that he is considering a challenge to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who has cast only one vote in Congress since she was shot in the head during an assassination attempt in January.

Anthony Prowell, a special education teacher, told The Daily Caller he can get no support from within the party for his plan. But he says the voters in Giffords’ constituency in the Tucson area of Arizona need a voice in Congress.

Gabrielle Giffords, shot, arizona, democrat
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords
“If you listen to the radio shows in town, the editorials coming in to the papers, they feel a tremendous amount of sympathy, but are saying she can’t do her job like she used to.

“So many people that you talk to now say that there’s nobody representing the average working person,” he said.

Prowell said party leaders hang up on him whenever he raises the idea. “They have flat-out said, ‘We already have a congresswoman and will not support you in any means whatsoever.’

“They’re furious that I’m even considering running after what happened to her,” said Prowell, who noted that even friends have told him they won’t support him in a run against Giffords.

Prowell said he worries that Giffords’ injuries mean she cannot serve the district effectively in Washington, and he believes that Republicans are unlikely to field a candidate against her in November 2012 because they fear looking like “the bad guy.”

Giffords, who was shot in the head and six other people were killed when a gunman attacked her during a meeting with constituents, has not yet said whether she will seek re-election. She received a warm welcome in the House on Aug. 2 when she made a surprise appearance to vote in favor of the deal to raise the debt ceiling.

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