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Top Congress Stories Include Weiner, Giffords

Three Jewish stories made Politico’s end-of-year list of the Top 10 Congressional stories of 2011.

The return of Gabby Giffords after she was shot and nearly killed, the battle between Howard Berman and Brad Sherman in Los Angeles, and the Democrats’ loss of Anthony Weiner’s old seat in New York all made the list.

Giffords made headlines with her inspirational fight to survive after being shot by a crazed young man at a constituents’ event in January.

The political web site says Giffords is still deciding whether or not to run for reelection in her Tuscon, Ariz.-area seat. Pundits say she would also be a strong contender for U.S. Senate. If Giffords is unable to run, an aide may run in her place to hold onto the seat until she can return, Politico reported.

Berman and Sherman have both represented parts of suburban Los Angeles. They were tossed together into a single district by the once-a-decade redistricting process that created another majority Latino district in the area.

Sherman started out with an edge in grass-roots support, both men said. Berman has lined up support from Democratic colleagues and fundraisers for the June primary showdown.

Republicans had never held New York’s Ninth District until Anthony Weiner started texting.

In short order, he resigned and Democrats had to scramble to find a new candidate for the seat that includes parts of Brooklyn and Queens and includes many Orthodox Jewish voters.

Riding a wave of anger over the economy and President Obama’s perceived lack of support for Israel, the GOP’s Bob Turner beat lackluster Democrat David Weprin to grab the seat.

It’s possible he won’t be there for long. Conventional wisdom says the seat will be sliced when New York draws new districts next year.

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