Arizona Republican mulls run for Gabrielle Giffords seat

Arizona state Senator Frank Antenori
Arizona legislature

A Republican state lawmaker has filed papers for a possible run for the House seat currently held by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Arizona State Sen. Frank Antenori is the first Republican to publicly declare that he may run for the seat held by the Democratic lawmaker, who was shot in the head in January.

"He is seriously looking to run, but he has not (formally) decided yet based on variables" including possible changes to the district boundaries, Ken Moyes, Antenori's "exploratory team coordinator," told CBS News.

Based on last year's Census, Arizona picked up a new congressional district for the 2012 elections, but the boundaries for the nine districts have not been finalized yet. There are currently eight congressional districts in Arizona. Moyes said he does not expect the independent panel to make a November deadline for new district lines, saying it could be January or later before the final map is official.

Giffords is in the midst of an arduous recovery after she survived an assassination attempt outside a Tucson grocery store where six were killed and more than a dozen others were wounded.

She has not said publicly whether she plans to run for re-election. The head of the Democratic party, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, said earlier this month she expects her close friend to return to Congress "full-time."

Giffords surprised almost everyone in Congress when she showed up to the House floor for the first time since the shooting in early August (watch at left) for a high-profile vote on raising the debt limit.

Antenori is a former "Green Beret" who won his state Senate seat with 60 percent of the vote in 2010, Moyes said. Antenori's current district in the state Senate is largely within the current boundaries of Giffords' seat.

CBSNews.com special report: Tragedy in Tucson

  • Corbett Daly On Twitter»

    CBSNews.com Deputy Politics Editor Corbett B. Daly is based in Washington. He has worked at Reuters, Thomson Financial News and CBS MarketWatch.

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