Next week, what’s left of voters who did not take advantage of the early ballot will head to the polls for the special election in Congressional District 8. Luckily for the residents of Oro Valley and Marana they will only be represented by the winner of this election for just over six months. The campaign between Ron Barber and Jesse Kelly says a lot about how the winner will represent the district once he is in Washington. Both candidates have been extremely negative in their campaigning. Winning may be important, but the constant negative ads from them, the organizations that support them and in every other campaign is getting out of hand.
Jesse Kelly’s campaign has been criticized on a number of levels since he resumed his political aspirations this year after losing in 2010. Some of that criticism is warranted, some of it is stretching, but over the last two weeks it was definitely deserved.
After a KGUN 9 interview, where Kelly’s campaign manager John Ellinwood freaked out over a question about an organization that has been denounced by many Republicans, it became clear that Jesse Kelly may not be a good fit for Congress. After all, look at his choice in a campaign manager.
It became worse when Ellinwood and Kelly were asked several times about the endorsement from the Americans for Legal Immigration PAC.
The question was simple – does the Kelly camp accept this endorsement or not?
Prior to the May 23 debate, on camera, Kelly was asked and instead of answering the simple question he began repeating the same thing over and over again about how this election is about jobs, the economy and energy.
Your platform may be fine Mr. Kelly, but that’s not all that goes into earning the support of constituents when we are considering sending you to Washington. If, in fact, you welcome an endorsement that others such as John McCain have denounced, then as a voter I would rethink voting for you.
Then, there’s the complete lack of respect for a reporter doing her job, and a reporter doing his job at the debate. To be clear, a journalist asking a hard question doesn’t automatically mean they are liberal and is pushing some agenda. The bottom line is this, journalists are supposed to ask the hard questions, they are supposed to see where the candidate stands on issues, they should be asking if a candidate accepts and wants an endorsement from a less than admirable organization.
This method of claiming journalists are liberal because they ask questions you don’t like is getting ridiculous. Answer the questions, be up front with the public, or don’t run for office. What’s going to happen when a hard question is asked once you are in office? Are you going to stand on the House floor and repeat the same sentence over and over again?
To see if it is just KGUN 9 News that gets the disrespectful treatment from the Kelly campaign, The Explorer also asked his campaign manager, John Ellinwood, about the ALIPAC endorsement. Instead of a simple yes or no to the question, Ellinwood said, “Our campaign is one of 140 Congressional campaigns they have endorsed this year, both Republican and Democrat.”
Again, The Explorer stressed that is not an answer to the question posed, and asked again in multiple emails. It didn’t happen. Instead, Ellinwood said the same statement over and over again.
While early ballots might help Kelly’s campaign, his refusal to answer a simple question raises too many red flags right now, and might make a difference on election day.