Republican candidate Jesse Kelly on Wednesday refused to answer a question about his endorsement by a controversial political action committee linked to neo-Nazi groups.
Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) endorsed Kelly in 2010 when he was running against Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona’s 8th Congressional district. The group renewed their endorsement again in 2012.
During a sit-down interview, KGUN9 News anchor Jennifer Waddell asked about the controversial endorsement. But before she could finish the question, Kelly’s spokesman John Ellinwood — who was off camera — interrupted her and said Kelly did not recently accept the endorsement.
After a brief back and forth between Waddell and Ellinwood, Kelly gestured to his spokesman to stop and allowed Waddell to finish her question.
“I will ask the question and you can address it how you choose,” she said.
“So Joe Evano says, recently you accepted the endorsements of the Americans for Legal Immigrations group — he’s saying this was in 2010 — Senator John McCain and the Anti-Defamation League have denounced the group for being backed by white supremacists, neo-Nazis and anti-Semites,” Waddell asked. “Why then did you accept that endorsement? This is from Joe Evano.”
“It was in 2010,” Kelly responded. “This election is about jobs, and the economy, and lower gas prices. Frankly it’s completely out of bounds.”
After the interview was over, Ellinwood reportedly berated Waddell for asking the question.
Sen. John McCain’s spokesman has condemned the group as “backed by white supremacists, neo-Nazis and anti-Semites.” According to the Anti-Defamation League, ALIPAC is supported by Stormfront, Vinlanders Social Club, European Americans United and David Duke.
Kelly is running against Democratic candidate Ron Barber in the race to replace Giffords, who resigned due to her injuries from a mass shooting in Tuscon.