A year after being severely wounded in a shooting rampage, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Az., is resigning from Congress.
In a YouTube video announcement, Giffords said leaving office is what is best for her constituents and she will step down this week to devote more time to rehabilitation. The governor of Arizona has 72 hours after the seat is vacated to set a special election.
U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., who is close friends with Giffords, released a statement applauding her public service and calls for more civility in Washington.
From Yarmuth’s office:
“During her time in Congress, Gabby Giffords was a public servant in the truest sense. And throughout her recovery, she has shown extraordinary courage and determination. Her decision today is just one more example of her always putting her constituents and country first. While I will miss her in Washington, her lessons about civility and humanity will certainly remain.”
The special election for Arizona’s 8th congressional district is expected to favor the Republicans, who held the seat before Giffords’ victory in 2006. According to Politico, Democratic officials are encouraging her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, to run for the seat.