The Arizona Daily Star, The Tucson Weekly, and The Arizona Republic newspapers have all endorsed Democrat Ron Barber for the vacant U.S.House seat in CD 8 (which encompasses parts of Cochise, Pima, Pinal, and Santa Cruz Counties).
–The Tucson Weekly article on May 17 (click here), “Voters should pick trusted public servant Ron Barber to complete Gabrielle Giffords’ term”
–The Arizona Republic article on May 19 (click here), “Barber provides steady centrism district needs”
–The Arizona Daily Star article on May 27 (click here), “Barber for CD8: centrist, mature leadership on complex issues”
Congressional District 8 has been without a representative in the U.S.House since Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords resigned from the seat she held for 5 years, on January 25, 2012. She had been shot once in the head on January 8, 2011 and resigned to focus on her recovery.
The special primary for that CD 8 race was held on April 17, and 3 nominees emerged from that election: Ron Barber (D), Jesse Kelly (R), and Charlie Manolakis (G). Barber faced no opposition, Kelly defeated LD 30 State Senator Frank Antenori and political newcomers Martha McSally and Dave Sitton. Manolakis defeated write-in candidate Richard Grayson.
Kelly is the only one who has run for political office before, having won the Republican primary in August, 2010 for this same seat, defeating former LD 30 State Senator Jonathan Paton, political newcomer Brian Miller and perennial candidate Jay Quick. He then lost to 2 term incumbentCongresswoman Giffords by 4156 votes in November, 2012.
Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (and her retired astronaut husband Mark Kelly) have both endorsed Ron Barber, who was her District Director in Tucson for 5 years, and was also shot twice on January 8, 2011 in the Tucson Tragedy. (Mark Kelly is not related to Jesse Kelly).
Early voting began on May 17 for the special general election on June 12. Early ballots are being returned at a record rate. 187,614 early ballots were mailed out in Pima County, and CD 8 has 424,718 registered voters per AZ Secretary of State’s report of 3/1/12.
For a May 16 online debate/forum between the 3 candidates, log onto PBS-HD 6 (click here for my previous blog).