Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has announced that she will resign from Congress this week to continue her recuperation from the brain injury she suffered when she was shot in the head early last year in a rampage that left six people dead.

In a video on her website, Giffords, 41, said:

A lot has happened over the past year. We cannot change that … I don’t remember much from that horrible day, but I will never forget the trust you placed in me to be your voice. Thank you for your prayers and for giving me time to recover. I have more work to do on my recovery. So to do what is best for Arizona, I will step down this week.”

Giffords will submit an official letter of resignation to House Speaker John Boehner and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer this week. It’s expected that a primary election to fill her seat will be held in April, followed by a general election in June. The winner will then fulfill the rest of Giffords’ term until it expires in January of 2013.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the Democratic National Committee chair and a close friend of Giffords’, said the congresswoman came to the conclusion that she couldn’t devote her full energies to both her job and her recovery. “This decision is really quintessential Gabby Giffords,” Wasserman Schultz said. “She needed to step aside for herself, so that her constituents could get full-time representation. She cares about them so much, that was her number one priority — taking care of them.”

President Obama said Giffords “embodies the very best of what public service should be,” adding that her “cheerful presence will be missed in Washington (and) she will remain an inspiration to all whose lives she touched — myself included.”

Watch Giffords’ video statement below.

[via CNN]

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