Former aide Barber wins Giffords' Arizona seat
November 17th, 2012
05:14 PM ET
2 years ago

Former aide Barber wins Giffords' Arizona seat

(CNN) – Democrats will keep the U.S. House seat once held by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Democratic Rep. Ron Barber bested Republican Martha McSally for a full term in Arizona's second district.

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Barber's spokesman Mark Prentice told CNN that McSally called Barber to concede the race earlier Saturday.

In a statement released by her campaign after her concession speech, McSally said, "It was a hard fought campaign and I'm proud of the race we ran with integrity, honor, authenticity, and grace."

"While ultimately we didn't get the results we hoped for, I'm amazed at the historic nature of what we did with the odds stacked so high against us," she said.

Barber, a former aide to Giffords, won Giffords' seat in a special election in June following a shooting the year before in Tucson at a "Congress On Your Corner" event. Giffords, then in her third term as a congresswoman, was shot in the head. She later left Congress to focus on her recovery and endorsed Barber as her successor.

Barber also was wounded in the leg and cheek during the shooting; six others were killed.

As of Saturday, Barber led McSally by 1,402-vote margin with more than 285,000 ballots cast.

In a statement released by Barber's campaign, the congressman-elect thanked his supporters and opponent.

"With the campaign over, I am eager to get back to work," he said after McSally announced in a press conference that she would concede the race. "Congress has important decisions to make, and we must seek compromise and bipartisanship in order to get things done. We must leave the harsh rhetoric and gridlock behind us."

Democrats maintain a slight lead in each of the two additional House races that remain too close to call. A third unresolved House race in Louisiana will pit two Republican incumbents against each other in a December 8 run-off election.

The balance of power now stands at 234 Republicans, which includes the winner of the Louisiana race, and 199 Democrats. Before the election, Republicans held 242 seats and Democrats had 193.

The remaining races are Florida's 18th district between Republican incumbent Rep. Allen West and Democrat Patrick Murphy and North Carolina's 7th district between Republican David Rouzer and Democratic incumbent Rep. Mike McIntyre.

–CNN's Dana Davidsen, Kevin Bohn and Robert Yoon contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Arizona
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. A little sad

    Good to hear! Now if we can just get West to concede so the ELECTED candidate can prepare for the next session.

    November 17, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  2. Both_R_Losers

    Please help remove the GOP (the Party Of No) from congress in 2014. It is time to move forward.

    November 17, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  3. Hillcrester

    So the Dems will have gained 6-8 seats in the House, two (counting independents who will caucus with them) in the Senate, in addition to holding the WH. In CA, Dems gained a better than a 2/3 majority in both legislative houses. All in all, a pretty good election for this CA Dem.

    November 17, 2012 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  4. ted

    Republicans lose a seat in Arizona. Maybe there is some hope for America...

    November 17, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  5. Nimrod Dinar

    I was certainly glad to learn that Congressman Ron Barber would be able to continue and carry Gabrielle Giffords' mission.

    November 17, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  6. Judie

    This is the best news! My fingers ache from being crossed! This man is a class act...he had a great role model in Rep. Giffords. I wish him well ~~

    November 17, 2012 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  7. HenryB

    Glad that Barber won but nothing against McSally. Good person who ran a good race. Just cannot stomach the Republican party. Clean up your collective act and I may once again turn to the party I used to admire.

    November 17, 2012 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  8. GWB

    Hmmmmmmmmmm. It was Repubs 242 seats and Democrats had 193. Now it's 234 Republicans, which includes the winner of the Louisiana race, and 199 Democrats. Hmmmmmmmmmmm. Looks like something's goin' on here!.

    November 17, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    WhaHooo!! Congratulations, Mr Barber!!!

    November 17, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  10. Sam

    Wow, great win Barber, McSally ran a real nasty ad campaign of LIES and mis information. The GOP flooded Tucson, with ad the few weeks against Barber. People realize and understood what McSally was doing. Sad a women with her back ground would run a radical Tea Party campaign.

    November 17, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  11. brownsclown

    Wonderful. I live in Vail and this is great news for Gabby, the District, Arizona and the country!

    November 17, 2012 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  12. brownsclown

    Wondeful. Good news!

    November 17, 2012 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  13. newsscanner

    I thought Allen West already lost.

    November 17, 2012 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  14. scooter

    Amazing woman and amazing husband pulled through together! I'm glad she's happy with her replacement.

    November 17, 2012 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  15. tony

    There is no such thing as a gun as a defensive weapon. Ask any dead soldier.

    November 17, 2012 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  16. Name

    What about the 141% of registered voter turnout in one florida distsict, something smells here. How can they just sweep that under the rug and let it slide.someone needs to go to jail if it's true.

    November 17, 2012 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  17. lawless

    Enough of Allen West already. Go away!

    November 18, 2012 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  18. ericgoestoholland

    Yay! Now we know...finally for God's sake.

    November 18, 2012 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  19. retphxfire

    A rare, good day in Arizona. We are the same state that elected Jeff Flakes to the Senate, the same guy who usually votes with Troy Akin and against veterans, children and others outside the interests of the most extreme right believers.

    November 18, 2012 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  20. Cam Spurgeon

    Good for him. Now make a difference.

    November 18, 2012 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  21. J.V.Hodgson

    I do not understand why you insist that Florida 18 is not going to go democratic. West lost his court case for a re-count ( of any kind) and the margin of victory for Murphy is above a legally needed re-count under state law.t!?
    I stick with my prediction 200 Dem 235 Repubs.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    November 18, 2012 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  22. DT

    Elections have become a train wreck. Our system is so broke and driven by race. I love the votes in Philadelphia where in one concentrated neighborhood Obama got every single vote, 19 thousand plus votes. That was not racial at all. Are you kidding me, not 1 vote. African Americans have you ever heard the saying calling the kettle black ? Can't wait for the hispanic candidate. Where will the demographics give 100%, Florida, New Mexico. You all need to go look in the mirror and hold up the candidates picture that most resembles you before you vote. Why bother with anything else. Yu could probably just have Juan Valdez the guy from the coffee commercial run the next time around. Either the picture of him or his jackass he stands next to will resemble your image. I also think I know which one will be a closer match

    November 18, 2012 04:58 am at 4:58 am |
  23. Jorge Sedano

    His is name Barber or was he a barber....seems to me we just rehash bureaucrats in the country.. but at least he'll know the way to the rest rooms in congress...just changing offices,,,juts goes to demonstrate if one works hard one can achieve.. maybe he'll be a good example for the folks that whine and want government handouts .....

    November 18, 2012 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  24. Marie MD

    Great news after such a tragic senseless event.

    November 18, 2012 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  25. Chuk

    I really hope Allan West is tossed out of Congress. He and is fellow extreme right-wingers do not belong there!

    November 18, 2012 08:47 am at 8:47 am |