Barber, who had served as Giffords’ district director since she took office in 2007 and was shot twice in the same shooting rampage that left Giffords critically injured, had already won the support of Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik and former Tucson mayor Bob Walkup.
Today, Barber is releasing GOP endorsements from Sahaurita Vice-Mayor Lynne Skelton, former Sierra Vista mayor Bob Strain and Cochise County rancher and veterinarian Gary Thrasher, who are crossing party lines to support Barber in the June 12 special election to finish Giffords’ term.
Skelton says that Barber understands the issues facing the district and “brings experience to the picture. He understands what’s going to work and how to bring jobs to our area. And more than anything else, he’s not a politician. … Ron is a true public servant. He’s solving problems and building consensus and he wants to get stuff done.”
The Congressional District 8 office has been “very, very responsive” to Sahuarita’s needs, even in Giffords’ absence, according to Skelton.
“You never got turned away,” Skelton says. “You pick up the phone and you could talk with someone in Congresswoman Giffords’ office. … If there’s a problem or a concern, we could most definitely get results from her office.”
Bob Strain, the former Republican mayor of Sierra Vista, says the electing Barber will ensure continuity for the remainder of the term.
He says the Congressional District 8 office has been responsive to Sierra Vista’s concerns about supporting Fort Huachuca, protecting the local water supply and providing constituent service.
“In my opinion, Ron Barber is the only person who can offer the continuity of service through this bookstrap election we’ve got coming up,” Strain says.
Barber will face the winner of a special GOP primary on April 17 that includes unsuccessful 2010 candidate Jesse Kelly, state Sen. Frank Antenori, sports broadcaster and businessman Dave Sitton, former Air Force combat pilot Martha McSally and Army vet John Lervold.