Mark Kelly, former astronaut and husband of Representative Gabrielle Giffords who was shot in the head last year, has said publicly that he will not look to fill his wife’s seat in Congress in the wake of her departure. Giffords announced earlier this week in a YouTube video that she would be vacating her post as Arizona Congresswoman to focus on her recovery for the time being.
The Daily Mail reports that Kelly, while not intending to immediately fill the spot, is keeping the possibility open for the future. Kelly’s primary goal at the moment is his wife’s recovery.
Giffords’ impromptu resignation has “set up a free-for-all in a competitive district,” says The Daily Mail. Arizona will be forced to hold a special primary to fill the seat.
Jim Woodbrey, a senior vice chairman of the state party, said, 'It was Gabby's individual decision, and she was not in any condition to make that decision five months ago, so I think waiting so that she could make an informed decision on her own was the right thing to do.”
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Woodbrey also noted that Giffords heavily implied that she would attempt to return to politics upon a complete and healthy recovery.
“I will return,” says Giffords in her YouTube video which announces her resignation.
Giffords spent her last day in her Tucson office visiting with people who were with her the day she was shot. She says in her resignation video that while she doesn’t remember much from that January day, she will always remember the support she’s received from people around the country.
In her final act - for now - as Arizona Congresswoman, Giffords visited one of her favorite charities, the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. Following the shooting last year, the food bank opened a new wing named after the Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords Family Assistance Center, after husband Mark Kelly asked that donations be directed there.
Giffords was shot outside of a grocery store in Tucson, Arizona, while meeting with constituents on January 8, 2011. Six others died and nine were injured when a gunman opened fire on the crowd.
Here, watch Giffords’ video: