Dates set for elections to fill Giffords' seatBy Bill Hess
Wick News Service
The special primary and general elections to replace resigned Democratic U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords were announced by Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer Friday afternoon.
The date for the special primary will be held on April 17 and the special general election will be on June 12, according to reports by Capitol Media Services and The Associated Press.
Giffords, who continues to recover from a gunshot wound to the head, sent letters of resignations to the governor and Republican U.S. Speaker of the House, saying she was resigning effective 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
Brewer then had three days to establish a date for the primary, which had to be within 80 to 90 days after her proclamation the seat was vacant, with the general election to be held within 50 to 60 days after the primary.
Currently there are five Republicans who have indicated an interest in seeking the GOP nod for the CD8, with some indicating they also will run for the new CD2 district, which incorporates most of the old district, along with some new territory.
Cochise County is completely in CD8 and, through redistricting because Arizona received an additional House of Representatives seat, is totally in CD2.
About four Democrats have indicated they want to run to replace Giffords but apparently are waiting to see if the former congresswoman will anoint a desired replacement.
As for Giffords' two former offices in Arizona, a spokeswoman for the Committee on House Administration said they will remain open until the special general election to continue providing services to the former congresswoman's constituents.
Doing so is routine if a member of the House retires, dies or resigns, or for any reason, before the completion of a term, Sallie Wood said.
The facilities are now being called the Offices for CD8, with the one in Sierra Vista located at 77 Calle Portal.
Wood, the committee spokeswoman, said the day-to-day operation of the offices will be monitored by the House Clerks Office.
Funds for the offices - one each in Washington D.C., Tucson and Sierra Vista - were already approved as part of supporting Giffords, as is done for any member of Congress.
"The funds were already budgeted," the spokeswoman said.
Whether Giffords' name will be removed from the building where her Sierra Vista office is located is a decision which hasn't been made, Wood said.
Once a new CD8 member is elected, that individual will decide where district offices will be located, with the same being true for whoever is elected for the new CD2 seat, Wood said.