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Gay Legislator Will Run for Giffords' Seat

Gay Legislator Will Run for Giffords' Seat


An openly gay state representative from Tucson, Arizona has announced that he will run for the congressional seat vacated by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who resigned in January as she focuses on her recovery.

Matt Heinz, the first Democrat to announce his candidacy and one of four openly gay members of the Arizona state legislature, told the Arizona Daily Star he plans to run for both the special election, which includes a primary on April 17 and election on June 12, and the formal November general election. He previously served for four years in the state legislature.

"I've been thinking a lot about how we can move forward and how we can best honor Gabby's strength, conviction and leadership," Heinz said Tuesday morning. "One of the best ways we can do that is by moving quickly and making sure that, in this very short time frame, we get somebody in there to fill that vacancy that is going to carry forward her tradition of common sense, moderate, consensus-building and problem solving."

Heinz said if Ron Barber, Giffords' district director, plans to fill her seat for the remainder of her term, Heinz will only run for the general election.

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