Special election in Ariz. to replace Giffords

By Kevin Freking

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, June 12 2012 12:55 p.m. MDT

"They're taking snippets from video out of context," said Ellinwood. But Kelly has dialed back his rhetoric on Medicare and Social Security while still saying future Social Security participants should get a chance to opt out of the program.

Both parties' national organizations have invested in the race. A win will give the victor a chance to claim momentum five months before November. A loss for Democrats would add to the difficulty of gaining the 25 seats they need to take control of the House. Republicans now hold a 240-192 advantage with three vacancies, including Giffords' seat.

Tuesday's victory will be only a temporary one. Both candidates are promising to run for a full term in the fall, setting up a possible November rematch in a newly redrawn district that is friendlier to Democrats.

Senate primaries in four states are expected to set up competitive races in November, which will help determine which party controls the Senate next year:

—Former Sen. George Allen is the heavy favorite to win Virginia's Republican Senate primary, which includes three other candidates. The winner takes on Democrat Tim Kaine.

—Six Republicans and four Democrats are running to fill the Senate seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe in Maine. The front-runner, former Gov. Angus King, isn't on the ballot because he's running as an independent.

—Republican Sen. Dean Heller and Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley each are expected to prevail with ease against a slate of unknowns in Nevada. Their fall race would be one of the most competitive in the country.

—In North Dakota, Rep. Rick Berg and businessman Duane Sand are vying for the Republican nomination in the race to replace retiring Sen. Kent Conrad. Democrat Heidi Heitkamp is running unopposed.

In South Carolina, most of the interest is in the new 7th District in the northeastern corner of the state. Nine Republicans and four Democrats are running for the new House seat.

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