Citing gun violence, Gabby Giffords’ trauma surgeon enters race for her old House seat

“It will be part of the campaign,” he added. “And I think it just happens that Congress is feeling some pressure to address this issue now.”

In his current ideas, the district that includes the city of Tucson and part of the US-Mexico border is a top battleground, though it became less competitive in the Trump era and will be redrawn before 2022. Giffords held a similar seat from 2007 to 2012 when she resigned a year after a gunman attacked her event with voters in a supermarket parking lot.

Although Friese does not enter the race with their formal confirmation, Kelly and Giffords support his run. He hadn’t considered entering politics prior to the Tucson shootings in January 2011, but the attack and his relationship with Congressmen made him ponder how he could help communities as a policy maker.

His campaign is testament to the growing political network that emerged from the tragedy 10 years ago in the hope of reforming gun laws. Giffords, then in her third term, was replaced by Ron Barber, her former district director, who was also shot that day.

Friese, who is in his fourth term at the Arizona State House, describes his approach to new gun laws as an approach based on compromise and “small, meaningful changes” – a language suitable for communities by the youngest Having been hit by massacres in recent years, waiting for federal laws to combat gun violence may feel unsatisfactory.

“I have always described gun security lawyers as water dripping onto a rock,” he said. “We have to trust that slow, decisive action will ultimately lead to change.”

He supports full background checks and a ban on offensive weapons, but believes the most effective route to legislation is to start small. He said he was proud to receive a bill in the State House dealing with concealed carry permits and had succeeded in getting gun rights groups in the state to remain neutral rather than opposing it.

“We cannot take one step forward to something that many conservatives find uncomfortable,” he said. “But we can try to find a place where we have something in common.”

That might make it good for a swing neighborhood. The seat in its current form hosted one of the country’s closest house races between Barber and Republican Martha McSally in 2014.

McSally won with 167 votes after a recount and held the seat until her first unsuccessful Senate candidacy in 2018. But in recent years, the Democrats have been ahead by a nose. Former President Donald Trump lost the state in both 2016 and 2020 – but it could look a lot different with the upcoming redistribution. Arizona is well on its way to getting a seat and an independent reallocation commission will oversee the new map.

Friese, a Navy veteran who works at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, has had federal ambitions for several years. He considered running a run for GOP Senator Jeff Flake’s resignation in 2018, but pushed it back on the then representative. Kyrsten Sinema. In 2020, he helped raise funds to kickstart Kelly’s Senate run against McSally.

There will likely be a crowded Democratic Elementary School for the district. The environmental law professor Senator Kirsten Engel entered the race last week.

But Friese has the support of science group 314 Action. According to a person familiar with their spending plans, the organization plans to raise $ 1 million in independent spending to promote Friezes in elementary school.

“Randy has shown himself to be a trailblazer for scientists who are similarly called to enter the civil service and use their expertise to advocate evidence-based policymaking,” Shaughnessy Naughton, president of 314 Action, said in a statement .

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