Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, a solar photovoltaic system owner and an outspoken advocate of solar development in Southern Arizona, has declared victory in a close race against challenger Jesse Kelly, who has released a statement conceding the election.
The counting of votes was continuing in Southern Arizona’s 8th Congressional District, but both candidates concluded late last week that the final tally would show Ms. Giffords was the victor. An unofficial count showed Ms. Giffords leading with 133,046 votes to Mr. Kelly’s 129,405.
“We won because Democrats, Republicans and Independents pulled together in our campaign to focus on the real solutions to the obstacles that we face,” Ms. Giffords, a Democrat, said in a news release.
“The challenges before us are great. Families are struggling in this tough economy, our border is not yet secure and our seniors worry about even the most basic necessities. We need to confront these challenges of a changing world head-on.
“We must work together to bring the next generation of jobs to Arizona, jobs based on engineering and science, and in solar energy, where Arizona can be a world leader.
“I would like to acknowledge my opponent’s hard-fought campaign. To Mr. Kelly’s supporters, I respect your opinions, admire your passion and share your love of our great state and country.
“Our country must be strong enough to solve problems and that means we must learn how to work together again. Our children are counting on us.”
On his website, Mr. Kelly, a Republican whose candidacy was endorsed by Gov. Jan Brewer, posted a statement noting that the Associated Press had declared Ms. Giffords the winner.
“I would like to thank our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, my wife Aubrey, who has been by my side this entire time, my family, for their unwavering support, and the thousands of warriors who fought with me in this campaign,” he said.
“While we fell short here in District 8, Tuesday was a resounding victory for America. The citizens of this nation overwhelmingly chose limited government, fiscal sanity, and free-market solutions. I am proud that we ran an honest and straightforward campaign. We are blessed by God to live in a nation where we get the government we deserve and the government that we chose. The voters of Southern Arizona have spoken and I respect their decision.”