A campaign spokesperson for Arizona Democrat Mark Kelly is drawing attention to his campaign for all the wrong reasons after he called Chicago police officers “worthless f—ing pigs.” The comment from T.J. L’Heureux, Kelly’s deputy press secretary, came in August in response to a video which showed Chicago police clashing with protestors over the summer. The comment was directed at the Chicago Police Department’s official Twitter account. The video L’Heureux was referencing showed police removing umbrellas from protestors who were using the umbrellas to hide actions as they prepared to attack the officers.
According to the Arizona Republic, L’Heureux joined the Kelly campaign two months ago and was not yet working for the campaign when the comment was made. The campaign had been unaware of it until Thursday, when L’Heureux removed the post and issued an apology.
Republican Martha McSally is running against Mark Kelly in Arizona’s closely contested U.S. Senate race, and her campaign released a statement calling out the hiring of L’Heureux. “This tweet was written just one week before Mark Kelly hired this person to his campaign team. Mark continues to amplify the most hateful, anti-law enforcement ideas and rhetoric that disrespects and endangers our brave men and women in uniform.”
Calling L’Heureux’s statement “frankly disgusting,” Arizona Police Association Executive Director Joe Clure told the Washington Free Beacon, “It sadly isn’t the first time I’ve seen this from Democratic campaign personnel. I hope that [Kelly] fires [the staffer] immediately to show that he doesn’t condone this kind of attitude that police are ‘f—ing worthless.’”
The Kelly campaign has said L’Heureux has been disciplined. L’Heureux’s Twitter account has since been taken private.
Mark Kelly was in the news earlier this week when a campaign staffer admitted on video that Kelly, who claims to support the Second Amendment, would be going after guns if he were to get elected. Kelly’s wife, Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords, was shot during a “Congress on Your Corner” public outreach event in Tucson in 2011. Six people were killed, 13 others were injured, and Giffords suffered a traumatic brain injury. The shooter, who was mentally ill, had purchased the gun legally after a background check came back clean, despite the fact that he had earlier been suspended from Pima Community College due to mental illness.