Gabrielle Dee "Gabby" Giffords (born June 8, 1970) is an American politician. She is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Arizona's 8th...... Read more
Gabrielle Dee "Gabby" Giffords (born June 8, 1970) is an American politician. She is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Arizona's 8th congressional district since 2007. The district encompasses the southeastern part of the state. It includes all of Cochise County and parts of Pima, Pinal, and Santa Cruz counties. She is the third woman in Arizona's history to be elected to Congress. A native of Tucson, Arizona, Giffords is a graduate of Cornell University and Scripps College. Prior to her Congressional election, Giffords served in the Arizona House of Representatives from 2001 until 2003, and the Arizona State Senate from 2003 until 2005, when she resigned to run for the seat held by then-Congressman Jim Kolbe. She also worked as an associate for regional economic development in New York City, and as CEO of El Campo Tire Warehouses, a local automotive chain owned by her grandfather. She has been married since 2007 to astronaut and Space Shuttle commander Mark E. Kelly. Giffords is currently serving her third term in the United States House of Representatives, having been reelected in the 2010 midterm elections. Considered a "Blue Dog" Democrat, her stances on health care reform and illegal immigration were sources of attention for those opposed to her candidacy, and has made her a recipient of criticism from various conservative groups. She has described herself as a "former Republican." On January 8, 2011, Giffords was one of twenty victims of a shooting, which has been alleged to be an assassination attempt, at a Safeway supermarket in a suburb of Tucson, Arizona, where she was meeting publicly with constituents. Six people were killed in the shooting, and thirteen injured in addition to Giffords. She was taken into emergency surgery, in critical condition from a gunshot wound to the head. After the surgery, a surgeon treating Giffords said that he was optimistic about her chances for recovery.