No rematch for Giffords' old House seat

Republican Jesse Kelly, center, smiles as he waits for special election primary results for southern Arizona's 8th Congressional District with his wife, Aubrey Kelly, at the Viscount Suite Hotel in Tucson, Ariz., April 17, 2012. AP Photo/Arizona Daily Star

Republican Jesse Kelly, center, smiles as he waits for special election primary results for southern Arizona's 8th Congressional District with his wife, Aubrey Kelly, at the Viscount Suite Hotel in Tucson, Ariz., April 17, 2012.
Republican Jesse Kelly, center, smiles as he waits for special election primary results for southern Arizona's 8th Congressional District with his wife, Aubrey Kelly, at the Viscount Suite Hotel in Tucson, Ariz., April 17, 2012.
AP Photo/Arizona Daily Star

(CBS News) Jesse Kelly, the Tea Party Republican who lost this week's special election to replace former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., announced Thursday he won't run again in the fall.

"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 said in a statement.

Kelly lost the special election to Giffords' former staffer, Democrat Ron Barber. Both Barber and Giffords were wounded in a 2011 mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona, and Giffords stepped down from Congress in January this year to continue her recovery.

Now that he's won the special election, Barber will carry out the rest of Giffords' term this year representing Arizona's eighth district. However, he now has to campaign for re-election in November, in the newly-drawn second district. Currently in the eighth district, the Associated Press reports, Republican voters outnumber Democrats by about 26,000. In the new second district, Republicans will have just a 2,000-vote edge.

Kelly lost to Barber on Tuesday by 7 percent, according to the Arizona Daily Star, or 13,000 votes. Kelly lost to Giffords in 2010 by just 4,000 votes.

Now that Kelly is out of the mix for the general election, the August 28 Republican primary will pit retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally against Pima County employee Mark Koskiniemi, the Daily Star reports.

Barber will have to compete in the Democratic primary on August 28 against state Rep. Matt Heinz.

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