PHOENIX — The Latest on a wanted poster issued by the state Republican Party for U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, the Democratic Party’s nominee for U.S. Senate (all times local):
An Arizona Republican Party spokesman is defending the release of a wanted poster for U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, a Democrat challenging Republican John McCain in Arizona’s U.S. Senate race.
Kirkpatrick’s campaign and former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords say the poster includes bullet holes and that it’s inappropriate imagery related to violence. Giffords left Congress after being gravely wounded in a 2011 assassination attempt. She’s asking the state GOP to apologize.
State GOP spokesman Matt Specht disputes that the wanted poster depicts bullet holes and he says it’s just an old-fashioned weathered image from the Old West.
Specht calls the criticism by Kirkpatrick’s campaign an attempt to distract from the poster’s message that Kirkpatrick avoids public appearances in which she might be asked tough questions.
McCain’s campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Many Democrats are upset after the Arizona Republican Party delivered a wanted poster with bullet holes to the Phoenix campaign office of U.S. Senate candidate Ann Kirkpatrick.
Her campaign staff is calling Thursday’s action by the GOP a “tasteless and ignorant stunt.”
Kirkpatrick’s campaign manager Max Croes says “there is absolutely no place for this disturbing imagery in Arizona politics.”
Former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly say “there is no room for invoking the use of firearms in our politics” and they want the state Republican Party to apologize.
Giffords was shot in the head during a constituent meeting at a Tucson supermarket parking lot in January 2011.
In the Nov. 8 general election, Kirkpatrick is facing Sen. John McCain, who is seeking a sixth term.