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PHOENIX -- Three years after she was shot and nearly killed in Tucson, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona remains a major player in Arizona politics.

Stan Barnes with Copper State Consulting said Giffords will play a dominant role the outcome of a tough midterm election involving her former staffer Ron Barber in Arizona's 2nd Congressional District.

Barber was also wounded in the Tucson shooting and finished out Giffords' term before narrowly defeating Republican Martha McSally in 2012. They will likely face each other again in the fall.

"Wherever Giffords goes, who she endorses, wherever she appears, it helps that person," Barnes said. "In Ron Barber's case, considering it is her old district, it helps him 10 points or better. Her support is probably the only way that he can win this."

Barnes said even with Giffords' support Barber faces an uphill battle because of his support of the Affordable Care Act.

Jim Cross, Reporter

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