Arizona House candidate Jesse Kelly (R) refused to discuss his endorsement from a white supremacist group during an interview with KGUN9 News this week, claiming the question about it was “completely out of bounds.”
When the anchor began to ask Kelly why he accepted the endorsement from political action group Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC), a controversial organization linked to neo-Nazi groups, Kelly’s campaign spokesman jumped in to cut her off, saying the question was “not unacceptable” because it was “not recent.” When the anchor persisted, Kelly echoed his spokesman’s sentiment:
KELLY: It was in 2010. This election is about jobs, and the economy, and lower gas prices. Frankly it’s completely out of bounds.
However, although both Kelly and his spokesman are referring to the endorsement from AILPAC during the 2010 race that Kelly ran against Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), the group actually renewed their endorsement of Kelly just last week. Kelly is currently running again to replace Giffords’ spot now that she is stepping down.
It’s unclear whether Kelly actively sought out the group’s endorsement, or whether he received it unsolicited. And, to be clear, Kelly should not be blamed for someone’s unsolicited decision to endorse him. He is accountable, however, for declining to distance himself from the group when given the opportunity to do so during the KGUN9 interview.