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Barber still uncertain about whether to seek another term

(Cronkite News Service photo by Chad Garland)

(Cronkite News Service photo by Chad Garland)

U.S. Rep. Ron Barber said has yet to decide whether he’ll run for reelection in 2014.

Arizona’s 2nd District congressman, who’s now in his first full term in the House of Representatives after  reaching office in a special election to serve the remainder of former Rep. Gabby Gifford’s term, said he must first discuss with his family whether or not to run again before officially declaring his candidacy.

Barber has already filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission indicating he’ll run in 2014, but when asked if that was his intent, the congressman said, “I have not yet made that decision.”

If Barber chooses to defend his seat, he’s well prepared to do so – the Tucson Democrat reported net contributions of $312,000 in the most recent quarter, according to FEC reports, and has about $767,000 in cash on hand.

“I am raising money obviously to keep the options open for a new campaign, but I haven’t declared yet,” Barber told the Arizona Capitol Times Saturday. “I’m really trying to stay focused on the congressional work and pay as little attention as I need to on the campaign side. The work I really have to do is representing this community and doing what’s right be the people down here… that’s really a full time job, and I don’t want to be distracted by campaign work until it’s time for that.”

The 2nd Congressional District race is anticipated to be one of the closest races in the country in 2014. Barber would likely face a rematch with Martha McSally, who he narrowly defeated in 2012.

Barber was named one of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Frontline Democrats for 2014.

“No doubt it’s going to be very closely watched here, but Ron’s also doing what he needs to do, fighting hard for southern Arizona,” said Matt Inzeo, spokesman for the DCCC.

Rodd McLeod, Barber’s campaign consultant, said Barber is rightly focused on his job in Washington, D.C. and serving his district.

“People expect their representative to be focused on serving, and that’s what Ron is focused on, and that’s why he’s got people like me to put things in place for a reelection campaign,” McLeod said.

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