‘Disgusting’: Republican Senate hopeful condemned over ‘showdown’ TV ad

·2 min read
<span>Photograph: Jonathan J Cooper/AP</span>
Photograph: Jonathan J Cooper/AP

A Republican Senate primary candidate in Arizona has been condemned for a “disgusting” campaign ad in which he shoots at lookalike actors portraying Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and the incumbent Arizona senator Mark Kelly.

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Jim Lamon, an energy executive, shared the ad on Twitter, saying it would be aired at this year’s Super Bowl.

Lamon would face Kelly in a general election in the autumn should he secure the Republican nomination.

Kelly is the husband of the former Democratic congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, who was shot in the head in 2011 while greeting constituents outside of a local grocery store.

In Lamon’s ad, styled as a western, figures identified as the “DC gang” enter a town wearing cowboy boots and carrying firearms, their faces half-covered by bandannas. Onlookers are upset by their presence, with one declaring: “We’re tired of being pushed around!”

Lamon enters, along with Mark Lamb, a real-life local sheriff, and Brandon Judd, the current president of the National Border Patrol Council. Lamon addresses the three actors playing Biden, Kelly and Pelosi, saying: “The good people of Arizona have had enough of you.”

“It’s time for a showdown,” Lamon adds.

When the Democrats draw their firearms, Lamon fires his own gun, shooting the weapons out of their hands as the rest of the town cheers. The three Democrats run away.

Criticism towards the ad has been swift, with many people pointing out other recent instances of violent imagery used by members of the Republican party. Last November, Paul Gosar, Republican representative for Arizona, was officially censured by the House after sharing an animated video depicting him killing the Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacking Biden.

Shannon Watts, founder of the group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, called Lamon’s ad “disgusting”.

A spokesperson for the Lamon campaign refused to respond to the Washington Post about criticism of the ad, but said it “shows the DC gang drawing on Lamon and he merely shoots the weapons out of their hands”.

“Unlike Kelly, Jim Lamon will shoot straight with Arizonans and take the fight to Biden – and he damn sure won’t let the left bully him into backing down,” the spokesperson said.