U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is distancing herself from fellow Southern Arizona Democratic Congressman Raúl Grijalva's call for an economic boycott of the state if a controversial immigration measure becomes law.
Her repudiation of Grijalva's call for conventions to steer clear of Arizona if the measure becomes law came as Congressional District 8 Republican hopefuls Jonathan Paton and Jesse Kelly called on Giffords to reject his comments.
"I am shocked and disgusted that Rep. Grijalva would call for a boycott of our very own state, especially in these economic times," Kelly said in a statement.
Paton said Giffords "should denounce this extreme statement by the man who got her into office and built her political machine. We don't need to push more businesses out of the state with this kind of alarmist rhetoric about a bill most Arizonans support."
Giffords' spokesman C.J. Karamargin said creating jobs and economic opportunities have been a major focus of her tenure.
"The last thing Arizona needs is a potentially devastating blow to our fragile economy," he said.
In a written statement issued for Giffords, Karamargin said the failed policies of the Bush administration left families and businesses struggling. "These are the people who would suffer most under a boycott," he said.
Giffords, who is seeking immediate deployment of National Guard troops and more Border Patrol agents, would not take a position on the law itself, other than to say if the federal government was doing its job properly, the state wouldn't have to weigh in on border enforcement.