WASHINGTON (Jan. 23, 2012) — Rep. Gabrielle "Gabby" Giffords, D-Ariz., has announced she will resign her House seat this week to concentrate on her continuing recovery from a gunshot wound.
On Jan. 8, 2011, Rep. Giffords suffered a severe head wound at a “Congress On Your Corner” meeting with constituents at a Tucson, Ariz., supermarket. Six other persons—including a federal judge and a nine-year-old girl—were killed, and 12 others were wounded.
“I have more work to do on my recovery, so to do what is best for Arizona, I will step down this week,” Rep. Giffords announced Jan. 22 in a two-minute video in which she spoke slowly and resolutely.
Rep. Giffords also promised to return to public service as soon as her health allowed. “I will return and we will work together for Arizona and this great country,” she said. “I know that on the issues we fought for, we can change things for the better.”
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer will set dates for a special primary and general election to fill the remainder of Rep. Giffords' term.
Rep. Giffords was elected to the House in November 2006. She was the only former tire dealer in Congress, having previously been president of Tuscon, Ariz.-based El Campo Tire & Service Centers Inc., the business founded by her grandfather.
Jared Lee Loughner, the accused shooter in the Tucson incident, is in a Missouri prison facility undergoing psychiatric tests to determine his fitness for trial. The latest psychiatric report is due Jan. 25, and Mr. Loughner's stay at the Missouri facility is set to end Feb. 8.
In a press release, Rep.Giffords said she intended to complete the “Congress on Your Corner” event, meeting privately with people who were present on the day the shooting occurred.