Ron Barber, Gabrielle Giffords Aide Wounded in Tucson Shooting, to Run in Special Election

Ron Barber, a former aide to former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, announced this morning that he'll run in the special election to finish the remainder of Giffords' term.

Giffords resigned from Congress last month so she can focus on her recovery after getting shot in the head during last year's shooting rampage outside of a Tucson grocery store. Barber also was wounded during the shooting.

"Our community needs someone who will put politics aside and solve problems for the people of Southern Arizona," Barber says in a prepared statement. "My commitment is to be honest with the people of this district and help restore civility to our public life. My first priority won't be the next election -- but the next generation. That means balancing the budget the right way by protecting Social Security and Medicare, creating jobs, and securing our border."

Barber's told various media outlets that he's running at the request of Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly.

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 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.

The election is scheduled for June 12.

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