Top Arizona GOP official asks supporters to help stop ‘gun grabber’ Mark Kelly ‘dead in his tracks’

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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.

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“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 McSallyThe Hill’s Morning Report — Trump’s hurricane forecast controversy won’t go away Republicans grumble over Trump shifting military funds to wall Democrats walk tightrope in fight over Trump wall funds MORE (R-Ariz.), who lost a 2018 race to Sen. Krysten SinemaKyrsten Lea SinemaTrump endorses McSally in Arizona Senate race Abortion rights group knocks Sinema for supporting Trump judicial pick The Hill’s 12:30 Report: State of the Union takeaways | Sights and sounds from the night | Virginia attorney general admits he wore blackface MORE (D-Ariz.), but was appointed to replace the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainO’Rourke hits Meghan McCain for saying government taking away guns would cause ‘a lot of violence’ Sanders cites retiring lawmakers when asked which Republicans he could work with The 10 counties that will decide the 2020 election 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.