The head of the Republican Party in Arizona is reportedly requesting supporters donate money to stop “gun grabber” Mark Kelly, a Democratic Senate candidate, “dead in his tracks.”  

State GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward in a fundraising email sent Friday called on supporters to help defeat the former astronaut, who is also the husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who resigned in 2012 after being seriously injured by a gunman’s assassination attempt that left six other people dead.


“Support the Republican Party of Arizona today and, together, we’ll stop gun-grabber Mark Kelly dead in his tracks,” Ward wrote in an email obtained by Bloomberg News and HuffPost.

In a post on Twitter, Ward called coverage of the email “utterly ridiculous,” saying she in no way wishes harm to Kelly.

“This dangerous rhetoric has absolutely no place in Arizona and is what’s wrong with our politics,” a Kelly campaign spokesman said in a statement. “Mark Kelly is running for Senate to overcome this type of nasty divisiveness that does nothing for Arizonans.”

Kelly, a gun reform supporter, is seeking the seat held by Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyGOP senators introduce resolution opposing calls to defund the police No evidence of unauthorized data transfers by top Chinese drone manufacturer: study Senate Democratic campaign arm launches online hub ahead of November MORE (R-Ariz.), who lost a 2018 race to Sen. Krysten SinemaKyrsten Lea SinemaWhy Trump, GOP are running into trouble in Arizona Gun control group to spend at least million in Arizona ahead of November Democratic super PAC targets McSally over coronavirus response MORE (D-Ariz.), but was appointed to replace the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe Hill’s Campaign Report: Bad polling data is piling up for Trump Cindy McCain ‘disappointed’ McGrath used image of John McCain in ad attacking McConnell Report that Bush won’t support Trump reelection ‘completely made up,’ spokesman says MORE (R).

Kelly led McSally in a poll last month. 

Ward herself ran for the Senate twice, falling in the Republican primary to McCain in 2016 and McSally in 2018.

—Updated at 3:55 p.m.

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