Barber elected to replace Giffords

June 12, 2012

PHOENIX (Associated Press) — Democrat Ron Barber has won a special House election in southern Arizona to finish the term of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Giffords resigned a year after she was shot in the head while meeting with constituents at a Tucson shopping center.

Barber defeated Republican Jesse Kelly, a former Marine who narrowly lost a House race to Giffords in 2010.

The 66-year-old Barber was seriously injured in the same rampage in which Giffords was shot. Six others were killed.

Holding onto the seat has been a priority for Democrats as they seek to regain control of the House in November.

Republicans tried to make the race a referendum on President Barack Obama, a strategy they'll continue to follow in other swing districts in this fall's congressional elections.