Campaign literature is filling mailboxes across the state as the August 26 primary election approaches. In Arizona's Seventh Congressional District, political attacks documented in ominous black and white flyers are in full swing.
Former Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox knocks competitor Ruben Gallego in her flyers for earning a B+ approval rating from the National Rifle Association.
Ruben Gallego, a former state lawmaker, defends his records on guns in one flyer by pointing out that he's "supported legislation to expand background checks, renew the assault weapons ban, and keep guns out of schools."
While Wilcox literature cites four of Gallego's specific NRA-friendly votes, his campaign piece -- in which he aims to set straight his record on guns -- he references general support of "common sense" gun measures.
Wilcox points out that Gallego "supported a new law to eliminate restrictions on the magazine capacity of firearms regulated in Arizona."
That law, which related to hunting wildlife, made clear that the Arizona Game and Fish Commission "shall not limit or restrict the magazine capacity of any authorized firearm."
Gallego voted in favor of the law, which was signed in March 2012.
Wilcox's flyer questions why anyone would "need 30 to 40 rounds in a single ammunition clip?" She also includes a quote from an Associated Press story about the killer at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut having "more ammunition at the ready in the form of multiple, high-capacity clips each capable of holding 30 bullets."
Another Wilcox flyer has a cover image of young man's face in a hoodie above the words: "America Doesn't Need More Trayvon Martin Tragedies."
Inside, in all caps: "Ruben Gallego voted for an NRA-backed 'Stand Your Ground' law that made it easier to shoot someone and claim self-defense."
Sam Castañeda Holdren, a spokesman for Wilcox campaign, says that during their field work, they're hearing people say they "can't trust Ruben Gallego because he got a B+ approval rating from the NRA."
If they are, it's because Wilcox mail pieces keep hammering at that message.
Gallego has mailed brochures to voters reminding them that he's supported "legislation to expand background checks, renew the assault weapons ban, and keep guns out of schools."
Also, his flyer proclaims that "he voted NO when Republicans at the state Legislature tried to allow guns into parks, public buildings, and college campuses."
Gallego's critics point out that he disclosed in 2012 to the Arizona Capitol Times that he himself has brought his 9mm pistol into a public building -- the State Capitol.
Gallego told the newspaper that it was a safety precaution, but that when he brings his gun, he leaves it in his office and doesn't bring it to the floor.
Invoking Gallego's record with the NRA has been a constant for Wilcox throughout the campaign, even bringing it up during candidate forums and debates.
During a recent debate on PBS' Horizon, Wilcox told viewers that Gallego may as well be a Republican because he received the same approval rating from the NRA as Senator John McCain.
View the July 18 debate:
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Got a tip? Send it to: Monica Alonzo.