Arizona: Barber Announces Run for Full Term; Candidate Drops Out

Posted March 19, 2012 at 6:03pm

Ron Barber, former staffer to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D), announced this afternoon that he would seek a full term for Congress in the fall.

Previously, he had only committed to fill her seat in the June special election to complete the remainder of her term.

“Some people might ask, Hey Ron, what took you so long?” Barber said in a statement. “I don’t rush into things, but once I make a decision, I stick with it for the long haul. But don’t take my word for it. Ask my wife Nancy. We started dating in 1963.”

There were some Arizona Democrats who were under the impression that Barber was not running for a full term.

One of those was state Rep. Steve Farley, who told Roll Call that he was only running because he did not think Barber would seek a full term.

“I am out of this race, and I’m refocusing on my state Senate race,” he said. “And I am doing everything I can to get him elected.”

Two other Democrats, state Sen. Paula Aboud and state Rep. Matt Heinz, previously announced they would run in the fall.

Barber was shot twice in the 2011 Safeway massacre that also injured Giffords. Arizona Democrats have said he is the strongest candidate to hold the tossup seat.

The Republican field includes veteran Jesse Kelly, veteran Martha McSally, state Sen. Frank Antenori and college sports broadcaster Dave Sitton.