Republican ahead in race for Giffords’ former seat

Republican Martha McSally holds a very fragile 400 vote lead over Democrat Ron Barber in the race for Arizona’s Second Congressional District, formerly held by Gabrielle Giffords. McSally is a retired United States Air Force colonel. She was the first American woman to fly in combat following the 1991 lifting of the prohibition of women in combat, and the first woman to command a USAF fighter squadron. Barber was a career bureaucrat and a congressional staffer for Gabrielle Gifford whom he succeeded in Congress.

More than 228,000 votes have been counted. However, it appears that more than 70,000 have not.

The bulk of the uncounted votes appparently comes from Pima County, in which Barber held about a 3 point edge. But some are from Cochise County, where McSally prevailed by more than 20 points. Viewed another way, most of the uncounted ballots were cast early, and Barber is said to have won decisively with this segement of the voters. Thus, the edge probably goes to Barber.

If McSally manages to win, it will be nice to see another impressive woman (this time a non-liberal) represent this district.

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