Much work and speculation to follow Giffords' announcementPosted: Updated:
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, in a youtube video posted Sunday afternoon, announced she will resign from Congress this week, so she can concentrate on her recovery.
This after being shot through the head a little more than one year ago.
As the Congresswoman prepares to make her emotional exit, political leaders are wondering what's next for District 8.
A very complicated and tight election process is about to take place.
After about five years representing Arizona's District 8, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is calling it quits, at least for now.
"Democrats and replublicans who had an interest in running now have to change their plans and start running right now," said former Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party Mike Helen.
Governor Jan Brewer must call a special primary sometime in April, followed by a General Election to determine who will serve the rest of Giffords' term which ends in December.
But in November, voters will decide who takes the seat for a full term, in the recently revised district. Both parties are sizing up the competition.
"The current configuration of the district is very close. Republicans have a slight edge. The newly drawn boundaries what we call congressional district two are a little tighter and closer," said Chairman of the Pima County Democratic Party Jeff Rogers.
"The issue of Gabby being in office or not is no longer part of the equation and it frankly makes it easier for our side," said Helen.
It's going to be a mad dash for democrats and republicans. Potential candidates who want a spot on the special election ballot will have only thirty days to collect signatures.
"So many of us were hoping like we were that she was going to continue to run and she'd be back,"
State Representative Steve Farley has been mentioned in some reports as a possible Giffords replacement.
"I'd like to hear what Gabby says who she thinks is best to carry on her legacy because that's my first loyalty," said Farley.
Although Giffords is stepping down this week, her congressional offices will remain open to help constituents until someone else is elected to her seat.