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Arizonans Vote for Giffords' Replacement

  • VOA News

Democrat Ron Barber, a former Giffords aide, seen here with the injured congresswoman in January 2012, hopes to complete the remainder of her term.

Democrat Ron Barber, a former Giffords aide, seen here with the injured congresswoman in January 2012, hopes to complete the remainder of her term.

Voters in several U.S. states go to the polls for congressional primary elections Tuesday.

Voters in Arizona will elect a replacement for Democrat Gabrielle Giffords, who resigned in January, a year after being shot in the head during a public appearance in Tucson, Arizona. Six people died in the shooting and 13 were injured.

Giffords' former aide Ron Barber, who was injured in the attack, is running against conservative Republican Jesse Kelly. The winner will serve the remaining six months of Giffords' term, but must run for re-election in November, albeit with a distinct advantage as the incumbent.
U.S. Republican Congressional candidate Jesse Kelly greets supporters Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010, at an election night rally in Tucson, Ariz.

U.S. Republican Congressional candidate Jesse Kelly greets supporters Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010, at an election night rally in Tucson, Ariz.

Polls show Barber, who is benefiting from sympathy for Giffords, is likely to win Tuesday's election.

With the economy dominating election issues, Barber vows to protect federal health care provisions and lower taxes for the middle class.

Kelly, who nearly unseated the incumbent Giffords in the 2010 congressional election, has proposed an increase in energy production.

Immigration is also an important issue in Arizona, which shares a long southern border with Mexico. Barber wants more agents stationed at the border, while Kelly favors the building of a double-layered fence to keep intruders out.

Elsewhere in the United States, primary election voters in Virginia, Maine, Nevada, North Dakota and South Carolina are selecting candidates to contest for congressional seats in November.


Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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