Potential opponent says media should question Giffords' competency; Loughner hearing

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is less than 15-months away from re-election and it's still not clear whether she will run.

That creates a sticky situation for anyone else thinking about throwing their hat in the ring.

And one potential opponent is getting national attention for calling that into question.

Since being shot in the head on January 8,  This is the only clear video footage of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

She has not granted any interviews.  And potential political opponent Frank Antenori says that will have to change if she plans on running for re-election.

"The staff is going around making all these quotes, but no one is speaking to the Congresswoman," said Arizona State Senator Frank Antenori.

In an interview with the Washington D.C. political newspaper The Hill, the Republican Antenori was asked whether he thinks Giffords is able to run and represent the district.

"And if the media wants that question answered, they keep asking me if she can run and represent the district.  The answer is I don't know.  I don't think anyone knows.  So, I turned it back on him and said maybe the media should find out.  Maybe they should ask for an interview.  Maybe they should question her and see if she's able to run or not.  Because I don't know," said Antenori.

The answer to that question plays a big role in whether Antenori will run for the seat. That, and whether new district lines being drawn up will create a more Republican-friendly district.

Antenori points out Giffords was able to cast her vote on the recent debt ceiling bill.  If she's able to do that, he says, she should be able to let her constituents know whether she's going to be able to fully represent them in a new term.

This is about representation for 700,000 people in Washington, DC. If she's able to do that, then good for her, I'm glad she was able to recover from those injuries and represent her district. I have no qualms about that. But if not, somebody needs to kind of find out whether or not that's the case. And the only point I'm trying to make is maybe the media should find out.

Right now, no one has any information.

Giffords' office did not want to comment on this story.

And the man accused of shooting Giffords and killing 6 people on January 8 has a court hearing scheduled Friday.

The hearing in San Diego is to determine a number of issues involving subpoenas issued by Jared Loughner's lawyers.

The hearing will also deal with requests to videotape Loughner's psychiatric evaluations.

The hearing will be shown in a Tucson courtroom via video conferencing.