Adding to speculation that she would seek re-election this fall, Giffords had an army of supporters raising money on her behalf should she decide to seek another term. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, Democratic National Chairwomen Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, -- among others -- all worked to ensure Giffords could finance another campaign had she decided to run. Rep. Steve Israel, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, even added Giffords to his Front-Line program for vulnerable candidates.
"The attitude was the money would be there if she decided to run," a Democratic campaign aide confided.
But for Giffords, the resignation is an opportunity to focus on her recovery, perhaps paving the way for another run in the future.
In a video message released Sunday, Giffords pledged that despite her upcoming resignation, her career in public service had not come to an end.
"I will return, and we will work together for Arizona and this great country," she vowed.