Republican vying to succeed Giffords plans to focus ‘on the issues’

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Republican Jesse Kelly is running for the seat vacated by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords after she was shot in 2011.

It’s an emotionally charged race in which Kelly is challenging one of Giffords’ former aides, Ron Barber, who was himself shot on the same day as Giffords.

But in an interview with The Daily Caller, Kelly, a former U.S. Marine, said this would be a campaign about issues — not the troubles of the past.

“What we’re hearing on the campaign trail is that voters just want to hear your plans for jobs — to lower taxes, lower gas prices and talk about job growth. Voters want to hear about your plans on the issues, and that’s what we’ve done from the very beginning,” he said.

Asked whether the memory of the shooting constrained how he would campaign and limited his ability to go negative, Kelly said, “We’re going to run a campaign on the issues, whether that be clarifying ours or clarifying our opponent’s. It’s going to be a campaign on the issues.”

Those issues boil down to one topic: the economy.

“It’s all about the economy,” he said. “It’s about getting Americans back to work. We’re at 14 percent real unemployment, $4 a gallon gasoline. The American people cannot afford these prices and they need better jobs.”

The special election to serve out the rest of Giffords’ term is on June 12.

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