Gabrielle Giffords

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Gabrielle Giffords currently serves the 8th Congressional district of Arizona

Gabrielle Giffords, a Democrat, has represented the Eighth Congressional District of Arizona in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2007. (map)

On January 8, 2011, Giffords was one of several people shot at a supermarket near Tucson, Arizona where she was meeting publicly with constituents.[1] She was taken into emergency surgery,[2] in critical condition from a gunshot wound to the head.[3][4] A surgeon treating Giffords has commented that he is optimistic about her chance for recovery.[5]

Commentators, bloggers and opinion writers used Giffords' shooting to highlight a list of American social ills, including high barriers to mental health treatment, dangerous gaps in gun control laws and the increase in violent rhetoric conservatives have used in American political campaigns. [6] [7][8]

Record and controversies

Iraq War

For more information see the chart of U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Iraq War.

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal


Giffords was born in Tuscon, Arizona in 1970. Giffords graduated from University High School (Tucson). She received a B.A. in Sociology and Latin American History from Scripps College, in Claremont, California, in 1993, and a Masters of Regional Planning from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York in 1996. Giffords was a Fulbright Scholar and a fellow at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. She later operated her own business and investment capital firm in the Tuscon area. [1]

Giffords began her career as a legislator in the Arizona House of Representatives, where she served from 2000 to 2002. Giffords was elected to the Arizona Senate in the fall of 2002 and is the youngest woman ever elected to this body. She took office in January of 2003 and was re-elected in 2004. She resigned from the Arizona Senate on December 1, 2005, in preparation for her congressional campaign.

Giffords is married to astronaut Mark E. Kelly, a veteran of two shuttle missions. Kelly was the pilot for space shuttle mission STS-121 in 2006. STS-121 included the first shuttle launch on the Fourth of July. Giffords participated in a NASA tradition when she selected "Beautiful Day," by U2 as one of the wake-up calls for the shuttle crew.

Giffords is an avid reader and was featured on NPR's Weekend Edition on July 9 2006. She discussed books she was currently reading. These included: First Man, a biography of astronaut Neil Armstrong and The Heartless Stone, a book that exposes unsavory aspects of the diamond industry.

After Hurricane Katrina struck in the late summer of 2005, Giffords spent time as a volunteer in Houston, Texas, helping those displaced by the storm. She wrote about her experience in the Tucson Citizen. [2]

2006 election

Giffords announced her intention to run for Congress on January 24, 2006. The launch was attended by hundreds of people including leading Tucson residents and politicians. Giffords’ campaign was endorsed by many prominent Democrats, such as former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich. The top American political action committee, Emily's List, endorsed Giffords as well [3]. On September 12, 2006, Giffords won her party's nomination in the Democratic primary. The Republican primary winner was Randy Graf, a conservative who is backed by the Club for Growth.[4]

Giffords defeated Graf in the election to take control of the seat formerly held by Rep. Jim Kolbe, who retired.

2008 elections

This information was gathered by volunteer researchers as part of the Superdelegate Transparency Project on the superdelegates for the 2008 Democratic presidential primary. For more info see the Arizona superdelegate tracker or visit the STP homepage.

Before Hillary Clinton conceded the race, Gabrielle Giffords, as a superdelegate, had not endorsed a candidate for President.

  • For more information and sources, see the state page for this superdelegate linked to in the blue box above.

Committees and Affiliations

More Background Data


DC Office:
502 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone:(202) 225-2542
Fax: (202) 225-0378
Web Email

Tucson Congressional Office:
1661 North Swan
Suite 112
Tucson, AZ 85712
Phone:(520) 881-3588
Fax: (520) 322-9490

Sierra Vista Congressional Office:
77 Calle Portal
Suite B - 160
Sierra Vista, AZ 85635
Phone:(520) 459-3115
Fax: (520) 459-5419

Articles and resources


Local blogs and discussion sites



  1. "Congresswoman Giffords Shot in Tucson" (January 8, 2011). Retrieved on 2011-01-08. 
  2. "Congresswoman shot, alive in surgery in Arizona", WMC-TV (2011-01-08). Retrieved on 2011-01-08. 
  3. "US congresswoman in critical condition after shooting", MSNBC (2011-01-08). Retrieved on 2011-01-08. 
  4. Bookman, Jay (January 8, 2011). "Federal judge wounded in AZ; congresswoman shot". Retrieved on 2011-01-08. 
  5. Rep. Giffords in Intensive Care After Being Shot in the Head at Public Event. FOX News (2011-01-08). Retrieved on 2011-01-08.
  6. Janet Novack Giffords Shooting Points Up Mental Health, Gun Control Gaps, "Personal Finance", January 10, 2011
  7. Kevin Gosztola Shooting of Congresswoman Giffords and Death of Others: Violence Has No Place in a Democracy, FireDogLake, undated, accessed January 11, 2011
  8. Joe Kovacs [ Fed-up Marine has guns blazing to oust Democrats: 'They're destroying this nation, and while I'm still breathing, I will not let it happen'] WorldNetDaily, August 23, 2009

Corresponding article on Wikipedia and Cause Caller. (If Cause Caller link does not work, pick from its list of senators and representatives.)

Current Office: U.S. House of Representatives
111th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

110th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

Committees: House Committee on Armed Services, House Committee on Armed Services/Subcommittee on Air and Land Forces, House Committee on Armed Services/Subcommittee on Readiness, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, House Committee on Foreign Affairs/Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, House Committee on Science and Technology, House Committee on Science and Technology/Subcommittee on Energy and Environment,
Congressional Career
First Elected to Current Office:
November 7, 2006
First Took Current Office:
January 4, 2007
Next Election:
November 2, 2010
Term Ends:
Freshman Member?
Previous Political Work?
Arizona Senate, Arizona House, Switched from Republican to Democratic party,
Other Party Membership:
District Offices:
1. 1661 North Swan, Suite 112, Tucson, AZ 85712
Phone: 520-881-3588 / Fax: 520-322-9490
2. 77 Calle Portal, Suite B - 160, Sierra Vista, AZ 85635
Phone: 520-459-3115 / Fax:

Campaign Contact:

Webform Email: / Email:

Campaign Offices:

Phone: / Fax:

Zip Code Affiliations:

Date of Birth: June 8, 1970