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Paton goes on the attack, hits Kelly in TV ad

Paton goes on the attack, hits Kelly in TV ad

Jonathan Paton’s campaign called Jesse Kelly a hypocrite for allegedly profiting from stimulus money through his family’s construction business while publicly opposing the stimulus package.

The attack on Kelly confirmed a shift in the tone of the primary race in Arizona’s 8th Congressional District.

The two Republicans are vying for their party’s nomination and the chance to challenge Democrat U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Previously, Paton went primarily after Giffords.

Recently, however, his camp has also trained its guns on Kelly, and the duel between the two Republicans has intensified as the primary election approaches.

There’s a third Republican candidate in the race, Jay Quick, but he doesn’t have the resources to compete.

“Jesse Kelly has said one thing on the campaign trail and done another thing in private,” Paton said in a news release on Aug. 17. “His stated opposition to the Obama stimulus, while running a business that profits from this reckless spending, is blatant hypocrisy.”

In the statement, Paton said Kelly should “pay back the millions of dollars his company has received in stimulus and earmark dollars-taxpayer cash the Kelly company actively sought under Kelly’s management and from which Kelly has personally profited.”

The statement was accompanied by a video accusing Kelly of “(lining) his pockets with our taxpayer money.” The ad also juxtaposed clips of President Barack Obama and Kelly, saying Kelly took Obama’s stimulus money for his company.

This is the first video that Paton’s campaign released against Kelly.

The Kelly campaign dismissed the video as an attempt to distract voters from Paton’s record.

“Jonathan is desperate to distract voters from his record but people know that Paton eagerly voted for Napolitano’s big-spending budgets,” Kelly said in a statement.

A central narrative of Kelly’s campaign is that Paton is a career politician who supported Napolitano’s fiscal 2008 budget, which increased government spending.

John Ellinwood, who speaks for the Kelly campaign, said: “He has not received millions in stimulus. He is a working guy.

“President Obama’s spending is the reason Jesse Kelly got into the race,” Ellinwood said, adding that Paton’s ad tying Kelly to Obama is dishonest.

Paton is also desperate after having ignored Kelly for several months, Ellinwood said.

Kelly works as a project manager for his family’s construction business, Don Kelly Construction, which bids on sewer and flood control projects.

He recently worked on sewer expansion project for Pima County. Part of that funding for the project came from stimulus dollars.

But Kelly’s campaign has been quick to point out that just like any other company that bids on government projects his company has no control over the funding source for these projects.

- Luige del Puerto

  1. Lee Quinn
    Lee Quinn08-19-2010

    I have met both candidates and one thing striking about Jesse Kelly is he is honest and will tell the truth. To bid on a project nad receive funds does not translate to approving the process. Lets compare apples to apples. Is Paton grasping here?

  2. Runfast101
    Runfast10108-21-2010

    I’m not from AZ but like most Americans pray, someone will stand up and be the voice of the AMERICAN people. It’s been a long time since someone has come along like this Jesse Kelly.
    Its easy to see why democrats & who ever wrote this article dislike him, it’s because Jesse is the real deal.
    I crack up when they wrote his dads company gets tens of millions of dollars from stimulus funds. They make it sound like his dad drives up to the drive thru stimulus window, then the government fills the back of his truck with money.
    The statement about stimulus is missing truth. Like most contractors when jobs go out to bid, we bid on them. Lowest legitimate bid gets the job, there is NO special treatment to anyone. Reason I know this is because I’m a contractor in California.
    If Don Kelly Construction wins the bid or bids more power to them! Generating tens of millions in this economy in the construction field is almost impossible. We need to stop beating up these type of candidates and encourage more of them. We need more choices like Jesse Kelly. Bottom line is, he’s not afraid of hard work. After reading articles and listening to a few speeches on YouTube. This guy is almost like you and me, the small difference is he’s better. THE JERK!

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