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Giffords aide, wounded in shooting, to run for her Congressional seat

The man who worked as deputy director for Gabrielle Giffords announced Thursday he will run for her open seat. But as KJZZ’s Michel Marizco reports, it’s still up in the air whether he will also run for the newly created Congressional District 2.

MICHELE MARIZCO: Ron Barber said he barely decided this week to run in the special election. He suggested Giffords will endorse him in the race, saying that she asked him to run. Giffords resigned last month saying she needs to recover from an assassination attempt last year. A special election requires a primary in April and a general election in June. Barber was shot twice at the same event where Giffords was wounded. Barber didn’t rule out the possibility of running in the regular election this fall.

RON BARBER: It’s hard for me to imagine thinking two elections down the road I’m just trying to get my operation underway for what I’m focused on and that’s really what I’m doing. I’m not trying to be cute or coy about it.

MARIZCO: So far five Republicans have also joined the race. Tom Volgy is a former Tucson mayor and now political science professor at the University of Arizona. The Republican candidates, he says, are running now to prepare for the regular election. 

TOM VOLGY: If they don’t run right now, they don’t have much of a chance of even being recognized in the general election because it will come so soon after the special election.

MARIZCO: The only other Democrat, Representative Matt Heinz, dropped out of the special election race after Barber announced his intentions. 

Updated 2/9/2012 at 5:18 p.m.