On Sunday, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords announced she will resign from her District 8 seat in order to allow more time to recover from a gunshot wound to the head she suffered on Jan. 8, 2011.
Now, Gov. Jan Brewer has to set a date for a special Primary and General Election to fill the seat that will soon be vacated by Giffords. The winner in the special election will serve the remainder of Giffords’ term, which is set to expire in January 2013.
Giffords is expected to submit her resignation to Brewer this week, following some local appearances in Tucson on Monday, and she attended the State of the Union address in Washington Tuesday night.
“Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has been a noble public servant to the State of Arizona, and a model of what can be accomplished with persistence and determination,” said Brewer. “Her remarkable recovery over the last year is an inspiration to us all. As with all Americans, I will continue to hold Gabby in my thoughts and prayers as she continues on this path toward recovery.”
Early reports suggest Brewer might call the primary in April, and hold the general election some time in June.
Republican Frank Anterori, a senator in District 30, has already expressed interest in running for the District 8 seat.
Democrats expressing interest in the seat have been state Sen. Paul Aboud and state Rep. Matt Heinz.
For the Northwest region, many of the Oro Valley, Marana and SaddleBrooke residents currently reside in Congressional District 8, but with redistricting, will likely change to District 1 over the next year.
Under the new political boundaries, District 8 will now be District 2, which is expected to be competitive with 34.7 percent of the voters being registered Republican, and 34.2 percent are Democrats.
Because of the redistricting, candidates looking to replace Giffords will face two primary and two general elections in a year.
Thanks to the population increases revealed in the 2010 Census, Southern Arizona was granted a new Congressional District, which required the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission to restructure Congressional and legislative boundaries.
District 1 includes Marana, Oro Valley and SaddleBrooke, while stretching to the state’s northern boundary toward Flagstaff.
The District consists of 40 percent Democrats, 30 percent Republicans and the remaining 30 percent consists primarily of Independents.
Congressman Paul Gosar currently represents District 1, but has recently announced that he’ll be running for the District 4 seat in the 2012 elections.
Former Republican State Sen. Jonathan Paton has expressed interest in the District 1 seat.
Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick is also looking to run in the large Congressional District.
Other Republicans rumored to be considering running for CDI include Gary Pierce, of the Arizona Corporation Commission and businessman Doug Wade.
The Pima County Board of Supervisors races should heat up in 2012, as District 1 Supervisor Ann Day has announced she will not seek reelection.
Candidates are already lining up for the seat, with former State Rep. Nancy Young Wright officially announcing her candidacy last week.
“I understand that we absolutely must create an environment that helps existing businesses and attracts new ones,” Wright said. “I also know the county government must protect public safety, upgrade our crumbling roads, and partner with local municipalities. My commitment is to be a hardworking, accessible and responsive county supervisor.”
Potential Republican candidates considering the race are State Rep. Vic Williams, mortgage broker Stuart McDaniel and Tea Party candidate Ally Miller.
The election that is just around the corner is the Oro Valley Town Council election, where six candidates are vying for three seats. Incumbents Bill Garner and Steve Solomon are on the ticket.
Garner was elected to a four-year term in 2008, while Solomon was appointed last year.
The remaining four candidates include Brendan Burns, Mark Napier, Fred Narcaroti and Mike Zinkin.
The Primary Election will be Tuesday, March 13. The last day to register to vote in the primary is Feb. 13.
Like most municipalities, Oro Valley will continue hosting an all mail election. The ballots will be mailed to voters on Feb. 16.
The General Election will be held on May 15. The last day to register to vote in the General Election is April 16.
General Election ballots will be mailed on April 19.