Giffords To Step Down Next Week

Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords announced Sunday that she will step down from Congress to more fully concentrate on her recovery from a shooting attack last year. In a video message posted online, Giffords said she is getting better every day. Guy Raz

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GUY RAZ, HOST:

This final political note today. Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords released this video announcement just a few hours ago.

(SOUNDBITE OF GABRIELLE GIFFORDS' FAREWELL ADDRESS)

REPRESENTATIVE GABRIELLE GIFFORDS: I have more work to do on my recovery. So to do what is best for Arizona, I will step down this week.

RAZ: Giffords has made a remarkable recovery since she was shot in the head a little more than a year ago.

(SOUNDBITE OF GABRIELLE GIFFORDS' FAREWELL ADDRESS)

GIFFORDS: I don't remember much from that horrible day, but I will never forget the trust you placed in me to be your voice.

RAZ: The district she represents leans Republican, and many Democrats have urged Giffords' husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, to run. Kelly says he'd rather focus on his wife's recovery.

(SOUNDBITE OF GABRIELLE GIFFORDS' FAREWELL ADDRESS)

GIFFORDS: I'm getting better every day. My spirit is high.

RAZ: Arizona Governor Jan Brewer now has 72 hours to schedule a special election to fill the remainder of Giffords' term.

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