Gabby Giffords in Iowa to Support Bruce Braley

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By Katie Stinson

DES MOINES, Iowa —She was nearly killed by an assassin’s bullet, but on Sunday, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords told Iowans to be passionate, be courageous and be their best.

Giffords was in town to support Bruce Braley, a Democrat running for U.S. Senate. He held his ninth annual Bruce, Blues and Barbeque fundraiser.

“Thank you for inviting me here today, it's been a long hard (road),” Giffords said. “I'm getting better.”

Giffords made the rare public appearance to support her friend in his run for Tom Harkin’s seat.

“Gabby has been a close friend, her story is one that every American can relate to,” Braley said.

At Braley's fundraiser at the State Fairgrounds, Gifford’s husband, Mark Kelly, spoke on her behalf. The big messages that came out of the rally were about bringing more people into the middle class and fighting for tighter gun control laws.

“You know we’ve all seen tragically that when dangerous people get guns, we’re all vulnerable,” Kelly said. “When I think of needing more people like Gabby in Congress, do you know who I think about? I think about Bruce Braley.”

Giffords showed her support by her presence. Although she didn't speak much, she talked briefly about her recovery.

“I’m working hard, lots of therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy and yoga, too,” Giffords said.

“I think you feel the love in this room and we are all so proud of you and Mark,” Braley said. “Thank you for coming. Thank you, everyone.”

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