There's a new addition to the growing field of candidates eying the Congressional seat vacated by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords -- state Senator Paula Aboud announced this morning that she will seek the Democratic nomination for the seat.
"We have all been moved by the strength and courage of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords," Aboud says. "Her work -- our work -- must continue. Too many Arizona families still need jobs. Our middle class is being squeezed, and our public debate is too full of disrespect and bickering. There's not enough focus on the real problems we Arizonans face. That's why I'm running for Congress."
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Giffords resigned from the seat last month to focus on her recovery after getting shot in the head during last year's shooting in Tucson. Ron Barber, one of her former aides -- who also was wounded during the shooting -- announced last week that he will run in a special election to determine who will fill the seat for the remainder of Giffords' current term. It's unclear if Barber plans to run in the general election.
The only other Democrat officially eying Giffords' former seat is state Representative Matt Heinz, who announced his candidacy earlier this month.
Heinz, however, said he would back out of the special election if Barber decided to run, and only focus on the general election in November. It's unclear what Heinz will do if Barber also decides to run in November.
On the other side of the aisle, three Republicans have entered the race, including Jesse Kelly, Giffords' opponent in the 2010 election who narrowly lost to the congresswoman. The other Republicans running are Tucson broadcaster Dave Sitton and state Senator Frank Antenori.