Gabrielle Giffords, 40, has represented Arizona’s 8th District since 2007 after serving in the Arizona legislature from 2001 to 2005. She took the seat of moderate Republican Rep. Jim Kolbe, who retired from the U.S.-Mexico border-area district in 2006.
While generally considered to be a swing district, John McCain easily carried Arizona’s 8th in 2008 with 52 percent of the vote, and Republicans held the seat until Giffords was elected in 2006.
Giffords, a third-generation Arizonan, ran a Tucson tire business she inherited from her father before entering politics. She’s the only former tire dealer in Congress.