A super PAC supporting Jesse Kelly, the Republican vying for Gabrielle Giffords' congressional seat, is using a photo of the candidate holding a gun in new ads.
The website for the Move America Forward Freedom PAC features a graphic showing Kelly in a suit alongside a photo of him holding a gun. (The super PAC backs former members of the military who are seeking office. Kelly is a former Marine.) According to NPR, the image was also used in a fundraising email.
Giffords stepped down from Congress roughly a year after being shot in the head during a meeting with constituents at a Tucson grocery store in January 2011. Kelly has recently received criticism for his past arguments against Giffords, including a 2010 claim he made that she is "a hero of nothing."
Kelly has since changed his tone, with one supporter telling The Arizona Republic that the candidate is "far more mature now than he was two years ago." Kelly's campaign has recently promoted the Republican as a family man, touting photos of Kelly with his wife and sons and airing a television ad featuring Kelly's grandfather.
When asked about the gun ad, a spokesman for Kelly largely avoided the issue, telling NPR that Kelly's campaign is focused on "bringing jobs and prosperity back to America."
Below, a slideshow of photos from the one-year anniversary of the Tucson shooting:
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