Gabrielle Giffords plans public appearance to campaign for former aide

Gabrielle Giffords, who has made scarce public appearances since she was  shot in the head at a town hall attack in January 2011, will campaign this weekend for the Democrat seeking to succeed her in Congress.

The former Arizona congresswoman plans to appear at a June 9 get-out-the-vote concert for candidate Ron Barber, her former district director, Barber's campaign announced Sunday evening.

"Gabby is eager to get back home to Tucson and help get out the vote for Ron," Giffords' husband Mark Kelly said in a statement. "We need Ron Barber in Congress to stand up for Southern Arizonans and to help rebuild Arizona's middle class."

Giffords resigned her seat in January of this year, amid her continued rehabilitation, prompting a June 12 special election to choose a successor to serve out the remainder of her current term in Arizona's 8th District, which includes part of Tucson.

Barber faces Republican nominee Jesse Kelly, a businessman who ran as the district's 2010 Republican nominee, in next week's election.

Due to redistricting changes, much of Giffords' former district will become the redrawn and renumbered 2nd District in the next Congress. Barber and Kelly are also campaigning for their respective primaries on August 28 to run for the new seat in the fall.

The House Majority PAC on Monday released an ad that paints Kelly as disrespectful of Giffords. "And now she stands there with that smile and pretends to be some kind of hometown hero," Kelly states in a clip used for the attack ad. "She's a hero of nothing." The clip was from 2010, and the ad states it was recorded two years ago, but the negative connotation is clear. The group plans to air the ad through June 12.

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