WASHINGTON (Jan. 23, 2012)—Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., has announced she will resign her House seat this week to concentrate on her continuing recovery from a gunshot wound.
“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 in a two-minute video Jan. 22.
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 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-based El Campo Tire & Service Centers Inc., the business founded by her grandfather.
On Jan. 8, 2011, Rep. Giffords suffered a severe head wound at a “Congress on Your Corner” meeting with constituents at a Tucson supermarket. Six other persons—including a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl—were killed, and 12 others were wounded.
Jared Lee Loughner, the accused shooter, is in a Missouri prison facility undergoing psychiatric tests to determine his fitness for trial. The latest psychiatric report is due Jan. 25, and Loughner's stay at the Missouri facility is set to end Feb. 8.
Rep. Giffords said she intended to complete the “Congress on Your Corner” event, meeting privately with people who were present Jan. 8, 2011.