Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar accused Democratic Senate candidate Mark Kelly of condoning violence because he did not immediately condemn threats allegedly made by one of his supporters.
Kelly condemned a death threat made against Gosar, a Republican, on Tuesday after Gosar accused him of condoning violence because he had not addressed the threat publicly for several days since audio of the threats was made public.
The threat was allegedly made by Margaret Kathleen Spangenberg, a retired teacher and apparent Kelly supporter, according to the Arizona Daily Independent. Spangenberg allegedly said she wanted to shoot Gosar in the head over his response to the coronavirus pandemic. Gosar and other Arizona Republicans had been urging Kelly to condemn the shooting since Saturday.
“The Left endorses political violence. Candidate @CaptMarkKelly should take a stand against this. Silence condones violence,” Gosar tweeted.
Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward demanded that Kelly condemn the threat and said the threats were part of a larger trend of far-left violence that has taken hold in the form of riots.
“Mark Kelly is refusing to condemn his violent supporter who threatened to shoot @DrPaulGosar in the head! … Kelly’s silence on controversial topics is not a new phenomenon. What is new is his apparent timidity to denounce cut-and-dried issues such as one of his supporters threatening to shoot and kill a sitting congressman. His refusal to condemn this egregious display of hatred and threat of violence should convince voters that he shares the same ideology of other extreme, far-left Dems who have sided with rioters and the mob against law-abiding Americans,” she tweeted.
Kelly, an astronaut whose wife, former Rep. Gabby Giffords, was shot in the head during an assassination attempt in 2011, tweeted shortly after Gosar mentioned his silence.
After Kelly’s condemnation, Ward said she was “relieved” to see him condemn the violence “after days of pressure.” Gosar also thanked Kelly on Twitter.
In August, Gosar said that the shooting that took place in Kenosha, Wisconsin, was “100% self defense.” Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide for allegedly shooting and killing three protesters during the riots in Kenosha.