A Republican businessman running for Arizona’s 1st Congressional District has apologized for saying most mass shootings in the U.S. are committed by Democrats.
The Arizona Daily Star reports that Gary Kiehne made the remarks at a Republican primary debate Saturday in Florence.
Kiehne, a Springerville rancher, told the 60-member audience that “99 percent of (mass shootings) have been by Democrats pulling their guns out and shooting people.”
State Rep. Adam Kwasman, also a candidate and was there, said he supports gun rights. House Speaker Andy Tobin, who is also running, did not attend. The debate was put on by the Pinal County Republican Committee.
Kiehne today said he based the comment on information that he has since learned is incorrect.
“Simply put, I shouldn’t have made the comment, and I want to offer my apology for making it without any reservations,” he said in a written statement released by his campaign.
The Aug. 26 primary election will decide who faces incumbent U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, a Democrat. The mostly rural district is the state’s largest district by area.