Speculation about Giffords a hot topic - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Speculation about Giffords a hot topic

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is keeping her political options open for now as she concentrates on her recovery from being shot a year ago.

She has some time before deciding whether or not to return to Congress.

"At some point in the next several months, she'll make the decision on whether she'll run for re-election or not," her husband Mark Kelly said.

And until she does it's one of the most debated topics in America. The question on Google gets six million hits.

"I recently saw, as far as political figures in our country, she was the second-most talked about person," Kelly said. "I told her that recently, but she didn't believe me."

But in her Congressional District 8, she is the most talked about, whether Democrat or Republican, engendering a proclamation that she resign, which received only 240 signatures.

A Republican, Frank Antenori, says he may or may not run against her.

"I think it would be very difficult to run against her based on the sympathy for the tragedy towards her," Antenori said. "I couldn't really say without looking at the polling data."

But it's not just the candidates who are waiting. Many voters will likely take stock of Giffords' recovery before they decide.

Many believe voters will not set the bar unrealistically high.

"I think if she communicates well enough to be a Congresswoman that's enough," Democratic Party Chairman Jeff Rogers said. "I don't think she needs to be the kind of candidate she was in the past. Voters already know who she is and what she stands for."

While Giffords continues her rehab, her image continues to be carefully crafted because the day when a decision needs to be made is not far into the future.

"It's going to be made on her own timeline," Kelly said. "She'll make that decision one way or another. She'll make the decision whether she's going to run for re-election before May."

Some are saying that decision could be made by the end of this month or early next month, once the boundaries of the new district are firmly established and the political makeup is known, giving everyone the opportunity to prepare.

Copyright 2012 KOLD. All rights reserved.



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