Arizona GOP pledges to stop Gabby Giffords's husband 'dead in his tracks'

The Arizona Republican Party sent out a fundraising email Friday that promised to use donations to stop Democratic Senate candidate Mark Kelly “dead in his tracks.”

Kelly, a former astronaut who has mounted a strong challenge against Republican Sen. Martha McSally, is the husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot and severely wounded in a mass shooting at a 2011 campaign rally. Six people were killed in the attack.

In her fundraising appeal, Arizona GOP chairwoman Kelli Ward attacked Kelly over his calls for gun control.

Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly. (Photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

“Support the Republican Party of Arizona today and, together, we’ll stop gun-grabber Mark Kelly dead in his tracks,” Ward said in her email.

“This dangerous rhetoric has absolutely no place in Arizona and is what’s wrong with our politics,” Jacob Peters, communications director for the Kelly campaign, said in a statement to the Washington Post. “Mark Kelly is running for Senate to overcome this type of nasty divisiveness that does nothing for Arizonans.”

As outrage over the language in the fundraising email spread on Twitter on Friday afternoon, Ward remained defiant, calling news reports about her language “dishonest.”

An August poll of the Senate race showed Kelly leading McSally, 46 to 41 percent. Kelly also raised more than his opponent in the second quarter in Arizona, taking in donations of $4.2 million versus the $3 million raised by McSally.

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