by Jim Nintzel
Gabby Giffords, who will be at downtown's Rialto Theatre for a get-out-the-vote rally and concert on Saturday night to help former aide Ron Barber in his campaign against Republican Jesse Kelly in the June 12 special election that will determine who finishes Giffords' congressional term, made an appearance earlier this week in Beverly Hills.
Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) on Tuesday night attended her first — and last — campaign event since the January 2011 shooting that nearly took her life. And she hinted at what her next career move may be: a Gabby PAC.
During a private reception on Capitol Hill, Giffords pulled together a mariachi band and a spread of Southwestern food to thank her donors and friends for their support over the past many months, even though she decided to retire from Congress in January to focus on her rehabilitation. Giffords was shot in the head in January 2011 in a Tucson, Ariz., shooting spree that left six dead and others wounded.
But Kelly and Giffords' taking the stage to thank everyone and give an update on their plans marked the event's highlight. Kelly did all of the talking.
"Gabby and I are not going to be strangers to Washington," Kelly said to cheers. "We've got a few things that we're planning on working on — those issues she cares about, but also helping her friends. And that includes — we haven't quite figured this out — but at some point it might include an organization called Gabby PAC."
Whatever Giffords ends up doing, she will stay focused on the same issues she prioritized while in Congress: solar energy, veterans affairs and border issues, Kelly said. She will also push for "just the ability to work together with other people," he said. "Gabby has always been one to work across party lines and try to get things done for this country. And she's doing to continue to do that."