A Republican candidate for Senate is being widely criticized for an ad depicting himself in a shootout, Old West-style, with opponent Mark Kelly, whose wife, Gabby Giffords, was shot and almost killed a decade ago. The spot was posted online last Thursday and targets Kelly, a former astronaut and Incumbent Democrat Senator.

The ad features Kelly’s GOP opponent, Jim Lamon as a cowboy lawman fighting against the “D.C. Gang.” The trio of outlaws are clearly references to Kelly, presented as “Shifty Kelly,” President Joe Biden, presented as “Old Joe,” and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, presented as “Crazyface Pelosi.”

via Twitter

The Biden character proclaims “Well, if it isn’t Big Jim Lamon,” before Lamon confronts the gang against an old west town backdrop, while a crowd shouts things about not “being pushed around,” not wanting “open borders,” and high “gas prices.” “The good people of Arizona have had enough of you.

It’s time for a showdown,” Lamon says, as he shoots pistols out of the gangs’ hands and they run away. Mom’s Demand Action founder Shannon Watts, responded by tweeting that the ad WAS “DISGUSTING,” noting that Kelly’s wife, former U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords, was nearly assassinated in 2011 at a grocery store in Tucson, Arizona.

Via Twitter

Giffords continues her recovery from a serious brain injury from that assassination attempt, though the shooter killed 6 others.

Since her retirement from Congress, Giffords formed a gun law reform organization and three years ago 2019, led chants of “vote them out” at a rally she held outside the NRA’s headquarters in Virginia.

Flickr / Gage Skidmore / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell of California also tweeted in response to the ad: “Republicans don’t have any ideas to help you. And they can’t win elections. So they’ve gone all in on using violence as a path to power.”

via Twitter

Lamon indicated he has no regrets about the ad, saying on Twitter that it would run during the Super Bowl, which it did in local markets. Lamon’s campaign is said to have spent “multiples of six figures” on the ad.

The campaign has only raised $600,000 from donors while Lamon, who recently sold his solar energy company to Koch Industries, has spent over $10 million of his own money on his campaign, vowing to spend as much as $50 million before it’s all said and done.

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Christopher Powell