Gabrielle Giffords represented Arizona’s 8th Congressional district form 2007 - 2012. She is the third woman in Arizona’s history to be elected the US Congress and the youngest woman elected to the Arizona State Senate. As a Member of the House, she participated in the Blue Dog Democrat Coalition and the New Democrat Coalition. Giffords won in 2006 against Republican Randy Graf. In 2008, she won reelection against Republican Tim Bee, a childhood classmate and former colleague from the Arizona State Senate. In 2010, she once again won reelection against Republican and Tea Party candidate Jesse Kelly.
While in Congress, Giffords voted in favor of raising the minimum wage, endorsing the 9/11 commission recommendations, new rules for the House of Representative targeting ethical issues, the repeal of $14 billion of subsidies to big oil reserves and for subsidies for renewable energy. She has also worked tirelessly for border control and veteran affairs.
Prior to her time as a Congresswoman, she was a member of the Arizona House of Representatives from 2001-2003 and the Arizona Senate from 2003-2005. Aside from her political work, Giffords worked as an associate for regional economic development at Price Waterhouse in New York City and as CEO of El Campo Tire Warehouses, a local automotive chain owned by her father.
Giffords is a native Tucsonan. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Sociology and Latin American History from Scripps College in 1993. Giffords then spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar in Chihuahua, Mexico. She also graduated with a Master’s degree in Regional Planning from Cornell University in 1996. She is married to US Navy Captain and NASA astronaut Mark Kelly.
Giffords was a victim of the January 8th shooting in Tucson, Arizona. She has made great progress in recovering with the help from friends, family and supporters. She resigned from the US Congress on January 25, 2012 to focus on further recovery.