It’s time for the special election primary race for those seeking to win Representative Gabby Giffords’ recently vacated seat. The Republican special election primary is set for April 17, 2012, and the special election is scheduled for June 12. The Republican race for the seat is heating up now that several candidates have announced their campaigns.
The choices so far in the Republican Primary are:
- Arizona State Senator Frank Antenori was the first to declare his candidacy for the seat. Senator Antenori is an Army Special Forces Veteran who co-authored the book, Roughneck Nine-One: The extraordinary Story of a Special Forces A-Team at War, about his experiences at the Battle at Debecka Pass in Iraq. His record on gun rights is great. Antenori’s experience as a legislator, his A+ AzCDL rating in 2010, and proven voting record give him a distinct advantage in the race.
- Jesse Kelly will run again for the AZ Congressional District 8 seat. In 2010, Kelly was narrowly defeated in the race with Ms. Giffords. He served in the Marines for four years. After the tragic Tucson shooting at the Gifford’s event, Kelly was vilified by Democrats for his prior campaign events where supporters could shoot M16s with him. I’ll take that as a sign of his pro-gun credentials.
- Martha McSally announced her intention to run for the vacant seat yesterday. Ms. McSally is the first woman to fly an Air Force fighter in combat. She is a Distinguished Graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, has a Masters Degree in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and retired from the Air Force as a colonel in 2010. She has also served as a national security adviser to Senator Jon Kyl. At this time, her website does not list her positions on current issues.
So far, the only candidate to come forward for the Democrat primary is Giffords’ aide Ron Barber.
The current race would allow the winner to serve in the seat through the rest of this year. The winner will need to simultaneously run in the Fall general election, but in the newly redrawn Congressional District 2 to keep the seat. The Republican contenders should make this race very interesting to watch.
Tags: Arizona, candidate, Congress, gun rights