Giffords Leaving Congress to Focus on Recovery
In a one-minute video released on YouTube, Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has announced that she will resign her seat in Congress, so she can focus all her time and energy on recovering from the devastating bullet wounds she suffered last year.
"A lot has happened over the past year," she said. "We cannot change that. But I know on the issues we fought for, we can change things for the better."
Giffords was shot in the head on January 8, 2011 during an outdoor "meetup" with her constituents outside a supermarket in Tuscon. Six people were killed and 12 others wounded in the shooting rampage.
The Arizona congresswoman spent most of the last year getting treatment and rehabilitation in Houston and League City, where she now lives with her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly. She says her decision to resign is in home state's best interest.
"I have more work to do on my recovery, so to do what is best for Arizona, I will step down this week."
I'm getting better," she said. "Every day, my spirit is high. I will return and we will work together for Arizona and this great country."
Interestingly, one of the last things Giffords will do before she resigns will be to return to that supermarket parking lot in Tuscon, where she will "finish" the"Congress On Your Corner" event that was interrupted by the shooting a year ago.
She hopes to meet with others who were there that day.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer will call a special election in Giffords' district to pick a successor, even though that person will have to run for re-election in November.