Several of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' friends in Congress will be holding a fundraiser to raise money for the wounded U.S. representative's 2012 campaign, fueling speculation that if she's able, she'll run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Senator Jon Kyl.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Representative Adam Smith of Washington, and Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida are co-chairs of the March 15 fundraiser, which will be held in Washington D.C.
"We are so proud of her as she continues to make incredible strides in her recovery," the three members of Congress wrote in a letter included with the invitation. "We look forward to seeing her again soon and to the day that she will rejoin us in the halls of Congress."
The lawmakers say they're hosting the event so Giffords can focus on the "important work of her recovery."
But Giffords isn't hurting too bad when it comes to campaign cash for a House race. Her most recent campaign committee report showed her with an account balance of about $285,000, which is a pretty good start for an election that's two years down the road. A Senate bid would be far more pricey.
Giffords' name has been thrown around as a possible Democratic nominee for the 2012 Senate race -- she reportedly talked about running prior to the January 8, shooting rampage in Tucson, during which she was "shot through the brain."
Following Kyl announcing his retirement, chatter of Giffords being the Democratic nominee for the seat started instantly.
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Yesterday, Congressman Raul Grijalva said there was a "distinct possibility" that Giffords would run, a claim we argued was a bit premature -- ya know, considering she was shot in the head just over a month ago, and it's unclear how well she'll recover from her injuries.
Congressman Jeff Flake, the only person who's announced his candidacy for the seat, isn't ruling Giffords out as his potential opponent, either.
"The most wonderful thing in the world would be to have her make a Senate run," Flake told TPM yesterday.
Flake's taking the high road -- and we believe he's sincere in his hopes for a full recovery for Giffords. However, as sincere as he is in his hopes for her recovery, the last thing Flake wants is to run against Giffords in the general election -- as she's probably the only Democrat in Arizona who stands any chance at keeping him out of the Senate.