Dem Candidate Highlights Young Supporters, Omits Their Connections to Her Campaign

Ann Kirkpatrick
Ann Kirkpatrick / Getty Images

A former congresswoman running in Arizona's 2nd Congressional District has been using Twitter to tout her support from young people, but she has omitted the fact they work on her campaign.

Former Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick's (D., Ariz.) first tweet featuring "I support Ann because…" was posted in early June with a quote from Robert Lawrenz (Sanchez), a field organizer for Kirkpatrick's campaign.

"I support Ann because she is right on the facts, she knows her community here in Tucson. Ann has fought for Veterans, healthcare and education standards throughout her career and she's standing up to fight again," the tweet's caption said.

A series of tweets with the same format followed, showing a young staffer and a quote about their support of Kirkpatrick. None of these pictures featuring organizers and interns make note of the fact they are work for Kirkpatrick's campaign.

"I proudly support Ann Kirkpatrick because she stands up for human rights and is a strong advocate for the LGBTQ+ community!" another tweet said, quoting Kirkpatrick's intern Jackson Chamberlain.

After another month, Kirkpatrick started tweeting more support from young people, including pictures of herself and several of her campaign field organizers with graphics of their quotes praising her campaign platform.

"I support Ann Kirkpatrick because she has a record of defending women's reproductive freedoms, I trust her to stand up for us and our right to quality healthcare," said Margot Luna, who recently graduated from college and went to work on Kirkpatrick's campaign.

"I am supporting Ann because this country desperately needs mature leadership like hers in Congress. We need bold representatives who are not afraid to say that this President is an affront to our values as Americans," Graham Rigby said.

"I am supporting Ann because she had the courage to vote for the ACA. Her vote for the ACA, saved my life because of the medical care I received and I know that she will continue to stand up and fight against any measure  to take away quality healthcare that all American's deserve," Sonjia Denton said.

"I support Ann because she will fight to ensure that all Arizona families have access to affordable, high-quality health care. Our health care system is in jeopardy, and Ann is committed to protecting the programs that American lives depend on," Anna Navin said.

"I'm supporting Ann because of her strong progressive values, she has what it takes to enact meaningful change. As a woman, I'm especially concerned about the Trump Administration's policies that infringe on our fundamental human rights. I know Ann will fight for equal rights for women, and challenge policies that jeopardize the civil liberties of or [sic] democracy that truly make America great," Martha Strautman said.

This is not the first time Kirkpatrick's campaign has used a staffer to play the role of a supporter. The campaign was exposed last month for dressing up a campaign staffer to play the role of a doctor in a campaign ad highlighting the candidate's previous support for Obamacare, according to the Washington Examiner.

Former Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., talks about her vote for Obamacare in a new ad as video rolls of the Arizona Democrat walking and talking with doctors and nurses. About halfway through the thirty-second spot, Kirkpatrick stops to chat with convincing-looking medical professional.

But there is a problem – it looks like the campaign couldn’t page a doctor so they dressed a staffer in some scrubs, wrapped a stethoscope around his neck, and pushed him in front of the camera for a good visual. The actor/staffer is Matt Lubisich and, based on his social media presence, he probably has no business performing medical procedures on anyone in real life.

A review of the aide’s online resume reveals a smart and ambitious politico with a congressional internship under his belt, a student body presidency to his name, and a brand new degree in political science from the University of Arizona. He has been knocking on doors for Kirkpatrick as she mounts a bid to return to Congress, this time as the representative from Arizona’s Second Congressional District.

Kirkpatrick is running against former state Rep. Matt Heinz and five other Democrats in the primary, which will be held on August 28. Four Republicans are also competing for the seat currently held by Rep. Martha McSally, who is running for the U.S. Senate.