Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will make a rare campaign appearance in October to promote U.S. Rep Bruce Braley, a fellow democrat from Iowa running for U.S. Senate.
A press release for Braley's campaign said the former democratic representative will headline Braley's upcoming event called "Bruce, Blues and BBQ," in Des Moines, Iowa on October 27.
"I could not be more excited to have my friends Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly come to Iowa," Braley wrote in a campaign release to the Associated Press. "Gabby and Mark have made it their life's mission to bring people together and find common sense solutions that solve some of the tough problems facing our country. I work hard every day to live by their example, and I hope to bring that same spirit to the U.S. Senate."
Giffords formerly served as a U.S. representative from Tucson when she was shot in the head in 2011 while holding a constituent meeting in a local grocery store parking lot in Casas Adobes, Ariz. Giffords suffered damage to the left side of her brain, and withdrew from Congress a year later to focus on her rehabilitation. She still has difficulty speaking and has partial paralysis in her right arm and leg.
After the shooting, Giffords, along with her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, dedicated much of their time to lobbying for tighter gun control laws, especially gun safety measures and background checks. Although Giffords has appeared in many states and spoken with many senators relating to matters of gun control legislation, she rarely campaigns for other political candidates.
Giffords and Braley reportedly became friends after being elected to Congress in the same year, 2006. Braley is the only democrat running for the U.S. Senate seat that will be made available when Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) retires. He will be running against six republicans. Braley has previously been outspoken about the importance of gun control, saying that the Newtown school shooting in December 2012 was a "call to action" and that "failing to act is not an option."