Democrat Wins Special Election In Arizona
Published: June 13, 2012
Democrat Wins Special Election In Arizona, Ron Barber, a former aide to Gabby Giffords, will finish her term in the House.Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ hand-picked Democratic candidate won a special election Tuesday in southern Arizona to finish her term, defeating a Republican who narrowly lost to Giffords in 2010.The race was a hard-fought preview of the broader fall campaign as the two political parties used the contest to hone and test their political arguments for the November elections, when everything from the White House on down will be on the ballot.
Giffords had stepped down earlier this year to focus on her recovery from the gunshot wound she suffered in 2011 during a shooting rampage at a Tucson, Ariz., parking lot that killed six people and wounded 13. One of the wounded was Ron Barber, an aide to the congresswoman who will now serve the remainder of her term.
Republicans, sensing a chance to capture the seat, sought to make the special election a referendum on President Barack Obama and his handling of the economy. They argued that Barber, who was asked by the lawmaker to pursue the seat, would fall in line behind the White House.
Democrats, in turn, played to the senior vote by contending that Republican Jesse Kelly would not protect Medicare and Social Security.
With 86 percent of precincts reporting, Barber was winning about 52 percent of the vote while Kelly had 45 percent.
Both candidates have promised to run for a full term in the fall, setting up a possible November rematch in a redrawn district that is friendlier to Democrats. Republican voters outnumber Democratic voters by about 26,000 under the current map. That edge will narrow to about 2,000 under redistricting.
Elsewhere Tuesday, Virginia, Maine, Nevada, Arkansas and South Carolina held primary elections — with most of those states choosing Senate nominees — as did North Dakota, where voters decided to let the University of North Dakota scrap its controversial nickname, the Fighting Sioux. (AP)
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