Jesse Kelly Checks His Losing Margin, Decides Not to Run for Gabrielle Giffords' Old Seat Again

At least Republican Jesse Kelly's being honest about why he's not going to try for a third shot at running for Congress -- he wasn't very close this time.

Democrat Ron Barber beat Kelly by about 6.5 percentage points this week, in the special election to finish out the term of retired Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

"Looking at the results from Tuesday, we have decided to withdraw from the race for Congress in AZ-02 and to seek other opportunities," Kelly says in a statement.

Kelly ran against Giffords in 2010, but lost by fewer than 4,000 votes.

Kelly finished down more than 13,000 votes this time around.

The campaign boners and general weirdness from Kelly during both elections probably didn't help, some of which can be seen in this video put together by the Democrats.

Now Barber -- who was Giffords' aide, and was also wounded in last year's Tucson shooting rampage -- gets to enjoy his term for a couple months before having to go through the election process again.

He'll even face a primary challenger in what will be CD2 after redistricting takes place (a district similar to what's currently CD8) -- state Representative Matt Heinz.

The top Republican prospect in the race is likely Martha McSally, who was defeated pretty easily by Kelly in the primary for the special election.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley