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Arizona Representative Ron Barber says recovering after minor cancer surgery

Congressman Ron Barber speaks at the press conference following the sentencing of Jared Loughner in the Federal Court House in Tucson, Arizo
Congressman Ron Barber speaks at the press conference following the sentencing of Jared Loughner in the Federal Court House in Tucson, Arizo

PHOENIX (Reuters) - Democratic Representative Ron Barber, a former aide to Gabrielle Giffords who was wounded alongside her in a deadly 2011 shooting, said on Tuesday he is recovering after surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his tongue.

Barber, 67, beat Republican rival Martha McSally by a slender margin in the November 6 election to represent southeast Arizona in the state's redrawn 2nd Congressional District.

Barber's office said he learned of the tumor on November 13. He underwent surgery on Monday to remove the growth, and is expected to return to work in Washington next week.

"Congressman Barber was released from the hospital earlier today after a successful surgery," Barber's doctor, Audrey Erman, said in a statement released by the congressman's office. "He is expected to make a full recovery."

Barber was shot in the face and thigh on January 8, 2011, when Jared Loughner opened fire at an event outside a Tucson supermarket where Giffords was meeting with constituents.

Six people were killed in the shooting spree and 13 were wounded, including Giffords, who was shot through the head. She stepped down in January to focus on her recovery. Loughner was sentenced to life in prison earlier this month.

(Reporting by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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