TUCSON, Ariz. -- Voters in Southern Arizona will decide Tuesday whether to elect Democrat Ron Barber to succeed Gabrielle Giffords, or Republican Jesse Kelly, who nearly won the 2010 race against her.
Gabby Giffords has stayed on the sidelines since she resigned from Congress last winter. She has not fully recovered after being shot in the head more than a year ago in a shooting that killed six people in Tucson.
But she emerged this past weekend to stump for Barber just days before the vote. Barber was Giffords' district director. He was also wounded in the Jan. 8, 2011, shootings.
Kelly is a businessman and a former Marine who served in the Iraq War.
One reason Giffords came out to support Barber is the 2010 election. Giffords beat Kelly then, but only by two percentage points. When she served, Giffords composed herself as a moderate Democrat.
The eighth district leans Republican by about 25,000 voters so both parties are targeting independents. They make up about a third of Congressional District Eight's voters.
The winner will finish the six months left of Giffords’ second term. Both Barber and Kelly have said they will run for the newly created Congressional district this fall.