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Jesse Kelly, Arizona Congressional Candidate, Stonewalls Press Over Controversial Endorsement

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JESSE KELLY
Jesse Kelly has dodged questions about his endorsement by Americans for Legal Immigration PAC. | AP

GOP congressional candidate Jesse Kelly still won't say why he accepted the endorsement of a controversial anti-illegal immigration group known as Americans for Legal Immigration PAC in 2010.

Earlier this week when KGUN9 News anchor Jennifer Waddell asked about the endorsement during an interview, Kelly's spokesman, John Ellinwood, interrupted the studio session in a fury. "I have to stop you; that is false," said Ellinwood, who was sitting just offstage. "He did not accept it recently; that [endorsement] was from 2010."

Though Kelly allowed Waddell to repeat her question, he seemed to agree with Ellinwood's assessment. "Frankly it's completely out of bounds," he said about the query.

Americans for Legal Immigration PAC or ALIPAC is "supported" by a designated hate group and "allied with various Minuteman factions," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The Anti-Defamation League has also pointed out ALIPAC's support from white supremacists and anti-Semites.

But when asked by KGUN9 about ALIPAC once again, on Wednesday night, Kelly continued to deflect the question, retreating repeatedly to unrelated talking points on energy matters.

When contacted for comment by The Huffington Post, ALIPAC president and spokesman William Gheen said KGUN9 News had the story wrong. “Basically some liberals down at KGUN9 are trying to insert Neo-Natzis and the Jewish Holocaust into the congressional race where it doesn’t belong,” he said. “We’re a multiracial group that has condemned racist groups … and we’ve asked for an apology in writing.”

Kelly is running against Democrat Ron Barber for a seat that opened up after Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords's resignation. Barber is a former Giffords aide.

Watch Kelly dodge questions on Wednesday about his ALIPAC endorsement.

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