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Tags: Gabrielle Giffords

One Special House Election in the Near Future...



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A week from Tuesday, voters in Arizona’s eight congressional district – the one formerly represented by Gabrielle Giffords – will go to the polls for a primary election.

There is only one Democrat candidate running, Ron Barber, Giffords’ former district director. But there are four Republicans competing for the nomination for the special election held June 12. The GOP contenders are state Sen. Frank Antenori; Jesse Kelly, a veteran who narrowly lost to Giffords in the 2010 congressional elections; Martha E. McSally, a veteran who was the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat, and University of Arizona broadcaster Dave Sitton.

Early voting is already underway: “Through Friday afternoon, about 73,350 early ballots had been returned. Voters have until April 17 to get them back to their county elections office.”

Under its current lines, Arizona’s eighth congressional district scores R+4 in the Cook Partisan Voting Index.

Tags: Dave Sitton , Frank Antenori , Gabrielle Giffords , Jesse Kelly , Martha McSally

Republicans Start Lining Up for Giffords’ Seat



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I am told that Jesse Kelly, who lost to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords by 1.5 percentage points in 2010, will run in the special election for her seat.

Other names being mentioned in Arizona are Frank Antenori, state senator and retired Green Beret, sportscaster Dave Sitton, retired Air Force officer Benny White, and former 2010 candidate from a neighboring district Ruth McClung.

Tags: Benny White , Dave Sitton , Frank Antenori , Gabrielle Giffords , Jesse Kelly , Ruth McClung

Which Republicans Will Run for Giffords’ Seat?



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One of my Arizona guys writes in:

I thought I would give you a little insight into what will happen with the Giffords resignation.

First, it’s a bit of a stroke of good luck for the GOP. The Democrats have not taken a lot of action because they were waiting for Giffords to make a move. Since the district is currently marginally Republican, the GOP has a slight edge, depending on the candidates. That gives us a head start on the special election (in about 5 months) and the general (which will be in a slightly more Democratic district).

Who will be running as a Republican? First will be Frank Antenori, state senator and retired Green Beret. Strong conservative. I think he has the edge since he has had an exploratory committee already going. Also will have a good campaign team and grassroots.

Dave Sitton, sportscaster for the U of A.

Benny White has expressed interest in the position today. He is a retired Air Force officer and has collected a lot of chits by helping Republicans during the years and probably has an inside edge with establishment GOP money people.

Ruth McClung. I’ve heard talk that she might try to run in this district. She ran against Grijalva in 2010, but she is within walking distance of the congressional border. She might try to take the plunge again.

As mentioned in today’s Three Martini Lunch, the decision by Rep. Giffords to focus on her recovery is probably best for her and for the district. After experiencing such horror and demonstrating such determination during her long recovery, Giffords became a figure of unparalleled sympathy. For this reason, opponents in both parties gingerly tiptoed around discussions of this year’s congressional race, and some Arizona Democrats eagerly hoped she would run for the open U.S. Senate seat. But leaders are not supposed to be selected purely on sympathy.

Tags: Benny White , Dave Sitton , Frank Antenori , Gabrielle Giffords , Ruth McClung

Creepy: Giffords Supporters Already Fantasizing About Senate Ads



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Anyone else find this more than a little creepy?

Representative Gabrielle Giffords is still in the hospital, but some of her most ardent backers are so enamored of the idea of her running for the Senate that they describe the inevitable campaign commercials: the deep-voiced narrator recounting what happened to her, the images of her wounded, then recovering and speaking into the camera alongside her astronaut husband to call on Arizonans to unite.

These supporters say they do not want to get too far ahead of themselves, and make clear that Ms. Giffords, who was shot in the head, is still relearning basic tasks and might emerge from the hospital with neither the same political abilities nor aspirations that she had before. And publicly, her closest aides say the only thing they care about is her health.

. . . Several of Ms. Giffords’s longtime aides are whispering behind the scenes that she just might recover in time to run for the seat that Senator Jon Kyl, a Republican, is vacating next year.

This exploitative speculation has something of a benefit for the GOP:

While it might be wishful thinking, Ms. Giffords’s noncampaign is already having a major effect on Arizona politics; other prospective Democratic candidates say they feel compelled not to jump in unless she bows out, allowing Republicans to get a head start organizing their campaigns.

Tags: Arizona , Gabrielle Giffords

Giffords Will Probably Represent Her District Until She Retires



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As fascinating as it is, I doubt much will come of this . . .

With doctors preparing Giffords for the rehabilitation stage of her recovery, the discovery Monday of a little-known statutory provision in Arizona law raised the prospect of a legal complication that, if left unamended, would endanger her hold on her seat.

A statute buried in state law says that if a public officeholder ceases to “discharge the duties of office for the period of three consecutive months,” the office shall be deemed vacant and that at such time, a special election could be called to fill the opening.

But in Washington, lawyers quickly concluded that the statute does not apply to members of Congress. The U.S. Constitution provides the qualifications for service in Congress and makes the House the sole judge of those qualifications.

Who wants to be the Arizonan leading the charge to get Gabrielle Giffords removed from office? What Arizona public official is willing to call for, much less run in, a special election to replace Giffords? (This, of course, presumes she does not retire or leave the position voluntarily to focus on her recovery.) Beyond that, there’s precedent for members of Congress missing a lot of work because of health issues with no legal or political consequence; South Dakota senator Tim Johnson spent roughly nine months away from the Senate recovering from a brain hemorrhage. (He was able to do some work within a few months.)

Thinking beyond any potential special election, it’s easy to picture top-tier Republican challengers taking a pass on running against Giffords this cycle. She hung on in a tough cycle, winning by 1 percent in 2010; a campaign against her in 2012 will have to overcome vast amounts of public sympathy.

Tags: Gabrielle Giffords

Why Blame Photos of Political Figures Holding Guns?



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Are we really to believe that if a politician poses in a photo, aiming a gun at a target, that they are ipso facto contributing to an atmosphere of hatred and violence?

In that case, are advocates of this argument willing to blame the victim? Because Gabrielle Giffords did the same.

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Of course, Gabrielle Giffords did nothing to contribute to the actions of her attacker. Nor did Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck or the Tea Parties or anyone else other than the gunman.

I suspect some of what we’re seeing is the desire to lash out at somebody. The gunman’s been caught. He’ll face a trial soon. But in the interim, everyone else in society, particularly those who admired Giffords, want to do something, to take some action that will satiate their need for justice and/or vengeance. They can’t tackle the gunman. He’s already in custody. They can’t change anything that has already occurred. So they’ll find some other figure they already disliked, assert some implausible connection between a word or a graphic and this horrific act, and do what they can to get the others with “blood on their hands.”

Tags: Arizona Shooting , Gabrielle Giffords , Sarah Palin

Oh So Close, Yet So Far, in Arizona’s 8th Congressional District



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One of the ten remaining undecided House races was settled late Friday: “Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has won a third term in the U.S. House over Republican Jesse Kelly, leaving just eight congressional races still undecided. Kelly, an Iraq war veteran and Tea Party favorite, conceded to Giffords late Friday, saying in a statement, ‘We are blessed by God to live in a nation where we get the government we deserve and the government that we chose. The voters of Southern Arizona have spoken and I respect their decision.’”

According to the Secretary of State, Giffords won 133,046 votes, while Kelly won 129,405 votes. A Libertarian candidate, Steven Stoltz, won 10,642 votes, larger than the margin between Giffords and Kelly.

My original list didn’t include North Carolina Republican Renee Ellmers, who is preparing for a recount with Bob Etheridge. See the link below about helping her with the costs of all of those election monitors.

Tags: Gabrielle Giffords , Jesse Kelly

Push-Polling in Arizona’s 8th District?



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A reader in Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ 8th congressional district in Arizona says he received a push-poll in favor of the incumbent: ”They would not tell me who is paying for the poll and the name they gave was very garbled.”

Giffords’s district is most of Tucson, the eastern half of Pima County, part of Santa Cruz County, a small portion of Pinal County, and all of Cochise County. Have any other readers in that area received a similar call? Can anyone shed light on that poll?

Republican candidates in that district’s GOP primary are Jesse Kelly, Brian Allen Miller, former state senator Jonathan Paton, and Jay Dudley Quick. The primary is August 24.

UPDATE: Man, I love my readers. Like the mailman Federal Express, they always deliver:

About a month ago I received a voter ID call from the Paton camp. It was more focused on identifying voter support than on taking a poll.

On Friday, my wife and I both received calls asking about AZ 8.

One question was, “Do you support Brewer or Goddard for governor?” Then, “Do you support Giffords or Paton in CD 8?” (I told them I supported Jesse Kelly and that Paton was not going to win the primary.)

Then they asked about illegal immigration and gave only 2 options for addressing the issue: earned citizenship or rounded up 12 mil and shipping them back. The person said it was paid for by DNC services.

This one does not quite match the description of the first reader, though, so I’m wondering if they’re describing two separate polls.

Tags: Gabrielle Giffords

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