After losing the special election in Arizona to succeed Gabrielle Giffords in Congress, two-time Republican candidate Jesse Kelly has announced that he is dropping out of the race for a full term in November.
“I would like to thank our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, my wife Aubrey, and our supporters for their unwavering commitment to the values that make America great,” Kelly said in a statement. “Looking at the results from Tuesday, we have decided to withdraw from the race for Congress in AZ-02 and to seek other opportunities.”
Kelly previously ran against Giffords in 2010, losing narrowly 49 percent to 47 percent. The area became the epicenter for national sympathies, when Giffords survived after being shot in the head at a district event near Tucson in January 2011.
Giffords resigned her seat a little over a year later in January 2012, in order to focus full time on her recovery. Democrats nominated her former congressional aide Ron Barber, who was also wounded in the shooting. In the special election this past Tuesday, Barber won by a wider margin, 52 percent to 46 percent.
After redistricting, the seat will now be a bit friendlier to Democrats — thus making things even more difficult for Kelly, if he had attempted to run for a third time in a row.