Skip to main content

Jesse Kelly (R-AZ 08)
You are a PAC supporting a Republican candidate for Congress in the Arizona 8th district. The same district that was the site of a horrific armed rampage just 17 months ago.

Color me hypersensitive, but when a seat becomes vacant because the sitting representative is convalescing from near-fatal gunshot wounds, and her party's nominee (and her former district director) was also shot twice and badly wounded in the same armed assault, maybe it is a touch out of bounds to hype a candidate for that same office as a "warrior" while holding an assault rifle?

A PAC supporting Jesse Kelly, a former Marine running to replace Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in a special election on Tuesday, is using an image Kelly's campaign has avoided thus far — the candidate holding a gun.

Kelly, a Republican, ran against Giffords, a Democrat, in 2010. Giffords resigned in January, just over a year after a shooting spree left six dead and the congresswoman critically wounded. Kelly's opponent this time is former Giffords aide Ron Barber, who was shot twice during the 2011 rampage.

Look, using a candidate's military past is absolutely nothing new in politics, Republican or Democrat. And even showing the candidate with the accoutrements of combat duty (namely, weapons) is also standard operating procedure in the campaign game.

But when a member of Congress is a target for assassination, and this is the race that will replace her in the House, the rules of normal campaign procedure are necessarily different, if you have any respect for the circumstances.

And Jesse Kelly, to this point, seemed to have known that. After making his combat past a front-and-center talking point of his unsuccessful 2010 House campaign (when he lost to Gabby Giffords by two points) (indeed the image in the PAC email appeal was taken from Kelly's 2010 bid), he has been much less likely to invoke the warrior street cred in this special election, in which voters head to the polls on Tuesday.

As for Kelly's campaign, their response to the questions about the propriety of the PAC's email appeal is pretty priceless, in the "dear lord, let us talk about something else" vein:

"This campaign is about bringing jobs and prosperity back to America. That's why we're focused on lowering taxes, growing the economy, and lowering gas prices using American energy."
Even the PAC had the sense of decency to acknowledge the convalescence of Rep. Giffords before issuing their non-apologetic statement:
"While we applaud the former Congresswoman's recovery, this race is not about Gabby Giffords. We want to give the people of Arizona a new voice that reflects their values."
The special election to fill the seat of Gabby Giffords will be held this Tuesday in Arizona's 8th district, which will become the Arizona 2nd when the new redistricting lines are implemented in November.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 08:50 AM PDT.

Also republished by Baja Arizona Kossacks and Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site