Mark Kelly 4
Randy Metcalf/The Explorer

Mark Kelly addressed Gabrielle Giffords' decision to officially resign from Congress in a video conference on Jan. 25. According to Kelly, the decision, which he said was a tough one for his wife, was made over the last month.

With Giffords' communication skills improving since suffering a gunshot wound to the head last Jan. 8, Giffords has been more vocal recently about her desire to focus on recovery.

" She wanted to recover and get back to work," said Kelly. "As we started 2012, it became apparent to her that she didn't feel like she was going to be able to do that anytime soon. She decided it was best to resign."

According to Kelly, the decision was not necessarily what anyone wanted, but in consideration of her constituents, Giffords realized it was time to allow somebody to fill her seat and get back to work earlier than she could.

While Kelly did not list any names, he said that he and Giffords hope whoever fills her seat shares similar values as her. Kelly believes Giffords will eventually endorse a candidate to fill her Congressional seat.

Due to Giffords' early resignation, whoever takes over her Congressional seat will have to run in two primary elections and two general elections for the seat, something that Kelly said Giffords was aware of.

The resignation has also brought into question the future of Giffords' Congressional staff. Kelly said he and Giffords will be meeting individually with each employee to do what they can to make sure they have every opportunity available to them.

"Gabby has the best staff on Capitol Hill, without a doubt. The sky is the limit for every one of these folks," he said.

Kelly referred to Giffords' resignation as a "sad day, but also a happy one." Giffords, who has dedicated the last 10 years of her life to public service, hopes to one day return to a similar line of work.

"It's been an emotional couple of days," he said." She loves being a public servant, and she's going to have to take a break from that for a while."

In the past, Giffords has voiced a passion to become the president of a college, something Kelly said might still be a future goal.

"It is very unlikely she would have served in Congress for 20 or 30 years," he said. "She strongly believes it is important to give other people an opportunity to do that. She has a bright future. I'm very confident she will serve the public again."

With her resignation, Kelly and Giffords will begin lives as private citizens. Kelly expects that Giffords' life as a citizen won't be much different than it has been in the weeks prior to her resignation. The two will return to Houston on Thursday, where Giffords will continue physical therapy and speech rehabilitation.

Kelly said he will continue doing what he has been in focusing on Giffords having what she needs so that she can get healthy and back to the field of work that she was robbed of when Jared Loughner open-fired last Jan. 8.

According to Kelly, Giffords is interested in the Loughner case, but has not paid it too much attention, instead concentrating on to the future and her recovery. Still, he and Giffords expect justice for the crimes committed on that tragic day.

"We want him to be punished for his crime, and in that process, it is important that he is restored to competency so he can stand trial for those crimes," said Kelly.

Going forward, the couple will spend the majority of their time at their Houston residence. As Giffords' recovery continues, they expect to divide their time between Houston and Tucson.

Kelly dismissed rumors that he would be running for Giffords' Congressional seat.

(1) comment

Morris T

Many of her colleagues admire her for being such a good person. According to her, her decision to resign from Congress is for good, as she wants to concentrate on recovering from wounds. Giffords’ staff has been holding up the duties of her office while the Congresswoman has been recovering. Her term was due to end this year, and many of her constituents were hoping she would seek re-election. Article source: Gabby Giffords resigns Congressional seat.

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