Voters in former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' House district elected Ron Barber, the retired congresswoman's aide, to serve out her term. Barber defeated a tea-party-backed candidate in a district where registered Republicans outnumber Democrats.
Ross D. Franklin/AP
The victory by Mr. Barber, a survivor of the mass shooting that severely wounded Ms. Giffords last year, gives the Democrats a break from the bad news that has dogged the party and President Obama this month. Barber beat the tea-party-backed Republican, Jesse Kelly, 52 percent to 46 percent in a district with a 26,000-vote registration edge for Republicans.
Both parties used the race as a testing ground for messages they hope will be effective in November. The Democrats pounded Mr. Kelly, a former Marine who lost to Giffords in 2010, for past statements proposing privatization of Medicare and Social Security. The Republicans sought to lash Barber to Mr. Obama’s health-care and economic policies.
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