Democrats try to keep Giffords’ open seat

Arizona Democrats are working overtime in Tuesday’s special election to win the open House seat once held by Gabrielle Giffords — an effort to avoid  a second election loss in as many weeks during the final months of the  presidential election cycle.  Democrats were dealt a setback June 5 when they failed to oust Wisconsin GOP  Gov. Scott Walker in a recall election.

Democrats tried for the recall of Walker, because he fought the big public unions over collective bargaining.  Democratic leaders tried to replace the first-term governor because they thought  he and state Republican lawmakers overstepped their authority when they  eliminated labor agreements for most state public employees in an effort to cut  a multibillion-dollar budget shortfall.

But political analysts are saying the defeat showed voters nationwide still feel passionate about wanting elected  officials to keep government living within its means, and that the loss was a  setback for labor unions and the Democratic Party that it traditionally  supports.

“The (national) importance of this election depends on the outcome,” David  Wasserman, who analyzes House races for the non-partisan Cook Political Report,  said Tuesday. “If Barber wins, it’s what we expected, Gifford’s aide inherits  the seat. If Kelly wins, it sends a message about President Obama’s job  performance.”

Fox News

Wasserman said that he believed the race was a tossup, because special elections are a little tougher to predict than regular  elections, in part because voter turnout is less predictable.  Meanwhile Republicans have been trying to make the southern Arizona House race a referendum on Obama and his handling of  the economy. Kelly is a former Marine who narrowly lost to Giffords two years  ago.

Jesse Kelly — no relation Giffords’ husband — continued to make the case in  the election’s final hours that Barber and Obama are out of touch with people in  the district.

Kelly, 30, has called for lower taxes and more energy production as a way to  improve the economy. He would roll back federal regulations and environmental  protections in an effort to boost oil and gas drilling.

Barber also is trying to convince voters that he understands their concerns.  He frequently talks about building up the solar industry and the need to cut  taxes, but only for the middle class. While Kelly has made it clear he would not  support any income tax increases, Barber has said the wealthy need to “pay their  fair share.”

Fox News

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