Congresswoman Gabby Giffords resigns, “I will recover and will return”

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords submitted her formal letter of resignation from the House of Representatives today, promising, in her letter, “I will recover and will return.”

Giffords, who has represented Southern Arizona in the House for five years, submitted letters of resignation today to House Speaker John Boehner and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. Her resignation will be effective at the end of the day tomorrow.

“Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has been a noble public servant to the State of Arizona, and a model of what can be accomplished with persistence and determination. Her remarkable recovery over the last year is an inspiration to us all. As with all Americans, I will continue to hold Gabby in my thoughts and prayers as she continues on this path toward recovery, ” the Governor said in a statement released today.

Prayers for Gabby’s future were also noted offered by another Gabby. “I personally want to thank the Congresswoman for her many sacrifices for this country and pray for her continuing recovery, and return to politics.” Gabby Saucedo Mercer, candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Arizona’s Congressional District 3 (formerly CD7), thanked the Congresswoman for her service upon her retirement. Southern Arizona is a vast region that faces the unique issues. Both Congresswoman Giffords and Saucedo Mercer have been strong advocates for secure borders and the safety of Arizona residents.

The Governor announced, “Upon the Congresswoman’s office being officially declared vacant, I will call a special Primary and General Election in order to fill the 8th Congressional District vacancy, in accordance with Arizona law. The winner will complete the remainder of Congresswoman Giffords’ term, which expires at the end of 2012.”

Giffords ended her letter of resignation with,”Every day I am working hard. I will recover and will return and we will work together again for Arizona and for all Americans.”

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Giffords’ closest personal friend in the House, read the congresswoman’s letter of resignation from the well of the House. Wasserman Schultz was joined by Giffords and a bipartisan group of Giffords’ colleagues. Giffords received a very long standing ovation from her colleagues.

The congresswoman’s resignation came just before the House votes on her final piece of legislation: a bill that would impose tough new penalties on smugglers who use ultralight aircraft to illegally bring drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border.

Giffords said in a video message released Sunday to her constituents, “A lot has happened over the past year,” she said. “We cannot change that. But I know on the issues we fought for, we can change things for the better. Jobs, border security, veterans. We can do so much more by working together.”