Arizona voters on Tuesday elected a former
aide to Democratic congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords to take her place
until the November general election.
With more than 300 of the 352 districts reporting Ron Barber had over 52 percent support compared with 45 percent for Republican Jesse kelly, who narrowly lost to Giffords in the 2010 election.
The Democratic congresswoman resigned in January to focus on her recovery after being gunned down at a political rally last year in which six people died.
According to the Tucson Sentinel, Kelly had conceded defeat Tuesday night, but vowed to enter the race again in November.
The southern Arizona election is seen as an important indicator ahead of the November general election, with national polls showing President Barack Obama neck-and-neck with Republican rival Mitt Romney.
Though the Arizona eighth district has more registered Republicans than Democrats, polls show Barber with a healthy lead.
Barber has campaigned strongly as the successor to Giffords and has attacked Kelly as being in favour of privatizing Medicare and Social Security, while Kelly has painted Barber as a White House lackey.
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