PHOENIX — U.S. Senate candidate Deedra Abboud is refusing to correct a blog post on her campaign website despite being called out by the chairman of the Maricopa County Republican Party for promoting an outright falsehood.
Abboud, an underdog candidate, hopes to fill the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Senator Jeff Flake next year. She currently is campaigning against Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema for the Democratic nomination in that race.
Abboud published a tweet over the weekend claiming that the county Republican Party’s website said the Democrat has “terrorist ties.”
“Even with media attention, the Maricopa County Republican Committee’s website still includes an explicit statement that I have terrorist ties while promoting a ‘counter-protest’ at an event in Wickenburg that I will attend on Saturday,” Abboud tweeted.
But the website she referred to — it isn’t affiliated with the county committee.
“Wow,” Christopher Herring, the chairman of the Maricopa County Republican Party, responded. “Completely untrue. No such statements exist on our website. The @MaricopaGOP has no involvement in any ‘counter-protest’ being organized.”
Herring was quick to point out that it wouldn’t have taken Abboud much time to figure that out on her own. One click away from the website’s landing page is a clear disclosure about who runs it.
“The content has not been paid for by the Maricopa County Republican Committee, the Arizona Republican Party, by any candidate, candidate’s committee, or any other political committee,” the website states. (That disclosure has been on the website since at least 2014, according to publicly available archives.)
Abboud later admitted to the mistake after Herring kept up the pressure on social media. The Democrat apologized for “misunderstanding the connection” but contended that her “confusion was reasonable” — and then criticized Republicans for being “more interested in pointing that out [her mistake] than condemning the behavior.”
“Seems like this #AZSEN candidate caught herself in a lie,” Herring tweeted. “Now claiming she didn’t try to make it seem like a private blog was the R party’s website.”
“Time to delete the tweet and post a correction,” he added.
Abboud will compete against Sinema — who is facing criticism for her opposition to the tax reform package and her political ties to the controversial website Backpage — in the primary election in August 2018.
Abboud’s tweet and blog post remain uncorrected at the time of this article’s publication.