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 McSallyPoll: Overwhelming majority say news media making US more politically divided Bill Kristol on McSally calling CNN reporter a liberal hack: 'I guess I'm liberal' McSally dismisses calls to apologize to CNN's Raju for 'liberal hack' comment: 'Called it like it is' MORE (R-Ariz.), who lost a 2018 race to Sen. Krysten SinemaKyrsten Lea SinemaGOP senator calls CNN reporter a 'liberal hack' when asked about Parnas materials Poll: Democrat Mark Kelly leads incumbent McSally in Arizona Senate race Independents and impeachment could determine Arizona's electoral future MORE (D-Ariz.), but was appointed to replace the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMartha McSally fundraises off 'liberal hack' remark to CNN reporter Meghan McCain blasts NY Times: 'Everyone already knows how much you despise' conservative women GOP senator calls CNN reporter a 'liberal hack' when asked about Parnas materials 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.