Ron Barber, a former aide to former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., easily won the race to succeed her Tuesday.
Barber defeated Republican Jesse Kelly, an Iraq War veteran who had lost narrowly to Giffords in 2010, to become the new U.S.†Representative†from Arizona’s 8th Congressional District. With 50.3 percent of precincts reporting, Barber received 52 percent of the vote to Kelly’s 45 percent. Green Party candidate Charlie Manolakis received 2 percent.
Barber was wounded in the assassination attempt against Giffords, who ultimately resigned her seat due to the rigors of rehabilitation from her injuries. Barber was shot in the face and thigh. Nine other victims were wounded, and six others died in the attack.
Barber had served as district director for Giffords from 2007 until her retirement. Born in England just after the end of World War II, Barber worked in the Arizona Division of Developmental Disabilities and as a partner with his wife in a small business.
Barber will serve out the balance of Giffords’ term, until January of 2013. He has already said he will stand for election in the newly-reconfigured 2nd Congressional District this fall, which will cover most of the current 8th Congressional District. Kelly also is on the ballot in the 2nd, meaning that this race will be re-run in five short months.
AP Photo of Gabby Giffords and Ron Barber by Matt York, Pool, File