“I don’t remember much from that horrible day, but I will never forget the trust you placed in me to be your voice,” Giffords, 41, says in the video. “Thank you for your prayers and for giving me time to recover. I have more work to do on my recovery, so to do what’s best for Arizona I will step down this week.”
She adds, “I am getting better. My spirits are high. I will return and we will work together for Arizona and this great country.”
Giffords was injured by an attempted assassin outside a Tucson grocery store Jan. 8, 2011. The incident left six people dead and 13 wounded, including Giffords.
Since then, the Democratic congresswoman has struggled to regain her speech and motor skills. In a release accompanying her video, Giffords’s office described her as “a third-generation Arizonan who served five years in the state Legislature before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2006. [She] will not seek re-election this fall.”
By Stephen M. Silverman