TUCSON, Ariz. (Jan. 10, 2011)—Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., critically wounded Jan. 8 outside a Tucson supermarket, ran her family's successful tire dealership before entering politics, and spoke at a Rubber Manufacturers Association meeting in 2007.
Giffords, 40, operated El Campo Tire in Tucson, which her grandfather founded, before selling it to Goodyear in 2000 to start a property management company. In 2002, she became the youngest woman ever elected to the Arizona state senate; four years later, she won election to Congress. In November, she narrowly won a third term against strong Tea Party opposition, which centered mainly on her support of President Obama's health care legislation.
In March 2010, after she cast a vote in favor of the bill, unknown vandals shattered the glass door to her Tucson district office.
At the RMA annual meeting in Tucson in February 2007, Giffords told the audience of rubber industry executives about how she became president and CEO of El Campo Tire when her father became ill, and ran the business for several years until selling it.
The shooting took place at one of Giffords' regularly scheduled events to meet and speak with constituents. Five others, including a federal judge and 9-year-old girl, were killed, and a total of 20 persons were shot, according to news reports.
Jared Lee Loughner, 22, is scheduled to be arraigned in federal court today on five counts of murder and attempted murder, including one count of attempting to assassinate a member of Congress.