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Giffords gives big money to Arizona Democratic Party (access required)

Gabrielle Giffords may not be running for Congress, but she’s putting the money from her campaign to use. Her campaign contributed $202,500 to the state Democratic Party’s federal campaign committee.

The contributions through the end of May came during the hotly contested special election for her vacated seat in the 8th Congressional District, a race that saw Democrat Ron Barber, Giffords’ former district office director, defeat Republican Jesse Kelly.

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Kelly scored knockout punches in first round

It was pretty clear that Kelly buttoned up yesterday’s primary as soon as the first results were made public, but the breakdown of the vote tells a more nuanced story. Early ballots have become a key for successful campaigns, and yesterday’s numbers show just how difficult it can be to mount a come-from-behind victory in the era of early voting.

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Barber files more than 5,400 signatures in CD8 special election (access required)

Ron Barber, who opened his campaign by raising more than $100,000 in three days, boasted another stunning number today when he submitted 5,472 signatures for the special election in the 8th Congressional District.

Barber, the lone Democrat in the special election field, shattered the minimum requirement of 671 signatures for Democrats to get on the special election ballot.

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