Arizona reacts to Gabrielle Giffords stepping down from Congress

PHOENIX - Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords announced she plans to step down from Congress. The video announcement was made on Facebook Sunday.

From her constituents to lawmakers, there was an amazing amount of support for Giffords and her decision to step down. 

Giffords stated she wanted to focus on her recovery, but will be back to fight for Arizona.

In a statement released by Gov. Jan Brewer she says, "Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has been a noble public servant to the State of Arizona, and a model of what can be accomplished with persistence and determination. Her remarkable recovery over the last year is an inspiration to us all. As with all Americans, I will continue to hold Gabby in my thoughts and prayers as she continues on this path toward recovery."

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said in statement, "Congresswoman Giffords deserves our support and thanks for her upstanding service in congress. Her tenure will be marked by her strong support for border security, solar sustainability programs, and always acting in a bipartisan manner. Her service makes all Arizonans proud."

U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor wrote in a statement, "My expectation was that Gabby would be coming back to Congress, and everything that was done in the redistricting and all the efforts have been for her to return to Congress.
But I understand that her priority at this point is to continue her rehabilitation and establish the health she desires. Still, I know she will be back. My hope and desire is for her to hurry back to public life in good health to once again represent the people of Arizona. I wish her the very best."

Congressman David Schweikert made the following statement: "From the day she was first elected to the Arizona State Senate, to her three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, Gabby Giffords has been a great advocate for our state. As she announces her resignation from Congress, I want to join with Arizonans in thanking her for her years of service and applaud her for always putting Arizona first. It has been a pleasure to get to know Gabby, Mark, and her staff and to serve alongside her. Joyce and I wish Gabby and Mark all the best wherever life takes them."

On ABC15's Facebook page many responded with well wishes while others said it was time for her to leave:

Phyllis Flynn Mescia: Love you Gabby. Get better and come back as our SENATOR!

William Ashby: She is a fighter. Good.luck gabby

Steve Forbes: It's safe to say, she should have done it sooner. No disrespect, it is a sad event, I'm just saying. It is a public office.

Vince Vasholtz: T his should have been done a year ago. There should be a law about this.

Carol A. Voydanoff: How very sad for our country. However, her life is more important to her family than the country. But I bet she will still have lots to say. She is missed!!

Sheila Mahoney: it must be a tough decision to make when it was your lifes work .. stunted by tragedy... what a woman ..you make us all proud .. sorry to see you leave congress but happy for your recovery efforts .. prayers

Paul Maxson: I love how far she has come, but I truly believe this is the best decision she could make. There is plenty of time to be in politics if she wants, there is really only one opportunity to get healed.

Once Giffords' seat is officially vacant, Gov. Brewer will schedule a special primary and general election. The winner will complete the remainder of her term which expires at the end of 2012.

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