Congressman Ron Barber today was sworn into office, one week after he was elected to represent Arizona’s 8th Congressional District. House Speaker John Boehner administered the oath of office to Barber.
Barber won a special election last week to fill the remaining six months of the term of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords who resigned in late January.
Barber, whose grandchildren joined him on the House floor, noted not only Giffords in his first House address, but also the work of House Speaker Boehner and the Arizona political leaders Morris “Mo” Udall, a Democrat, and Republican Barry Goldwater.
This is the first time Barber has served in elective office. He had a 30-year career with the Division of Developmental Disabilities in the Arizona Department of Economic Security. In 2007, when Giffords first took office, she asked Barber to serve as her district director – a position he held until resigning in February to run for Giffords’ seat.
After Barber was sworn in today, he was welcomed to the House in remarks delivered by two Arizona colleagues; Congressmen Ed Pastor and Jeff Flake.
Barber’s first vote was for a border security bill sponsored by Flake which allows the Border Patrol to circumvent environmental laws on federally managed lands within 100 miles of the borders with Mexico and Canada. Congressman Raul Grijalva said the legislation “would sacrifice crucial environmental protections to advance an anti-immigrant and anti-regulatory agenda.”