Praise and best wishes

2012-01-23T00:00:00Z 2012-01-23T06:51:38Z Praise and best wishes Arizona Daily Star
January 23, 2012 12:00 am

Reaction Sunday to U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' decision to step down. (Note to readers: All of the following comments were made through written statements, with two exceptions: Gov. Jan Brewer's came during a news conference and Mavanell Stoddard's came in an interview with the Star).

• President Obama:

"Gabby Giffords embodies the very best of what public service should be. She's universally admired for qualities that transcend party or ideology - a dedication to fairness, a willingness to listen to different ideas, and a tireless commitment to the work of perfecting our Union.

"That's why the people of Arizona chose Gabby - to speak and fight and stand up for them. That's what brought her to a supermarket in Tucson last year - so she could carry their hopes and concerns to Washington. And we know it is with the best interests of her constituents in mind that Gabby has made the tough decision to step down from Congress.

"Over the last year, Gabby and her husband, Mark, have taught us the true meaning of hope in the face of despair, determination in the face of incredible odds, and now - even after she's come so far - Gabby shows us what it means to be selfless as well.

"Gabby's cheerful presence will be missed in Washington. But she will remain an inspiration to all whose lives she touched - myself included. And I'm confident that we haven't seen the last of this extraordinary American."

• Mark Kelly, Giffords' husband:

"While Gabby has been working hard with a grueling schedule of rehabilitation, her mind has never been far from Arizona and her responsibility to serving her constituents the only way she knows how - by giving 100 percent. While Gabby was hopeful that she would return to work this year, she has recently determined that it will take more time."

• Mavanell "Mavy" Stoddard, who was shot with Giffords last Jan. 8 and lost her husband, Dorwan "Dory" Stoddard, to the gunman that day:

"I think she's one of the best we've ever had to represent us, and I'm not particularly Democrat or Republican. I am sad. I think she has a lot of clout. That young lady has come so far and she touched everybody in Congress. When she walked in to vote on the budget, you could see them all behave themselves."

• U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio:

"We salute Rep. Giffords for her service and for the courage and perseverance she has shown in the face of tragedy. She will be missed."

• Arizona House of Representatives Democrats:

"House Democrats thank Congresswoman Giffords for her service and her willingness to put her life on the line to make Arizona a better place for all families through her work on jobs, veterans and the economy."

• U.S. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California:

"Since the tragic events one year ago, Gabby has been an inspiring symbol of determination and courage to millions of Americans."

• Gov. Jan Brewer, Republican:

"I spoke with Mark Kelly (Sunday morning). ... I think that seeing (Gabby) a couple of weeks ago, and prior to that, even, her recovery has been nothing less than a miracle, and (seeing) her determination (made us all) want to believe that she would be able to move forward.

"But as her husband said, they have sat and discussed this and that it would be the best thing for her and for her recovery. And I indicated on the telephone with him that knowing Gabby and what she has accomplished in this last year in her recovery, who knows what's going to happen in the next few years? I don't believe we've seen the last of Gabby Giffords."

• Dennis Henigan, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, acting president:

"Congress and the American people now have lost the service of another devoted public servant because of gun violence. It is sadly reminiscent of the nation's loss of Jim Brady as presidential press secretary due to a similar gunshot injury 30 years ago."

• Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, Democrat:

"Gabby, Tucson loves you. We wish you all the best in your amazing recovery. We are grateful for your service in Congress and, before that, in the Arizona Legislature. I know that you will continue to inspire, to lead, and to accomplish great things."

• Glenn Hamer, Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry president/CEO:

"The grace and dignity that she has demonstrated over the past year has been a privilege to watch and has set an example that we should all strive to emulate. ... I am confident that her time away from public service will only be temporary, and that Arizona will welcome her back with open arms when she's ready to return."

• Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, Democrat:

"Her tenure will be marked by her strong support for border security, solar-sustainability programs, and always acting in a bipartisan manner. Her service makes all Arizonans proud."

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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