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

Top Arizona GOP official asks supporters to help stop 'gun grabber' Mark Kelly 'dead in his tracks'
© Greg Nash

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 McSallyCoronavirus deal key to Republicans protecting Senate majority From a Republican donor to Senate GOP: Remove marriage penalty or risk alienating voters Hillicon Valley: Facebook bans ads from pro-Trump PAC | Uber reports big drop in revenue | US offers M reward for election interference info MORE (R-Ariz.), who lost a 2018 race to Sen. Krysten SinemaKyrsten 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 McCainBill Maher delivers mock eulogy for Trump Hillary Clinton roasts NYT's Maureen Dowd over column CNN's Ana Navarro to host Biden roundtable on making 'Trump a one-term president' 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.