U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick denounced a fundraising email sent out by one of her would-be opponents in next year's election.
The Tucson Democrat, serving her first term in the House representing Congressional District 2, released a statement Monday about the letter sent out by Republican Brandon Martin.
In the email, Martin said he needed help overcoming Kirkpatrick's sizable lead in terms of fundraising to defeat her in 2020.
"Ann Kirkpatrick sits on the Appropriations Committee. ($$$ Big money donations $$$) She’s going to have a war chest in November 2020. I need 'ammunition' to remove her from office," Martin wrote. "Will you load me up with a donation of $5, $10, $25 or more so I can train my sights on Ann Kirkpatrick and remove her from office in 2020?"
Kirkpatrick represents the district once held by Gabrielle Giffords, who was critically wounded in a shooting during a constituents' event on Jan. 8, 2011, on the northwest side. Six people were killed and 13 were wounded in the shooting.
Alex Alvarez, a Kirkpatrick campaign spokesman, said Martin went too far.
“Threatening gun violence is disqualifying for anyone seeking to represent Arizona’s 2nd district," said Alvarez. "For Southern Arizona, gun violence is personal. In just 19.6 seconds, 33 bullets were fired at a congressional event in Tucson hosted by Rep. Gabby Giffords. She and her district director, Ron Barber, were shot, alongside 17 others, six of them murdered."
Martin responded on Monday night, rejecting Kirkpatrick's narrative.
"Ann Kirkpatrick’s claim that my fundraising email is ‘threatening’ or promotes ‘violence’ is just that, a claim. Any reasonably intelligent person, which I can now only assume Ann is not, would understand that ‘ammunition’ is clearly a euphemism for monetary campaign contributions," Martin said. "I noted she did not bother to call attention to the portion of my email where I made it clear I wanted to ‘politically remove her from office.'"
Martin added Kirkpatrick is using his emails to deflect from her records on guns.
Martin ran for Congress in 2018, but finished second in the Republican primary behind Lea Marquez Peterson.
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