Dem House Candidate, Critical of Gun Giveaway, Plays Gunslinger in Ad

Thursday, 10 Jul 2014 08:46 PM

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A Democrat running for a House seat in Washington State who's made a splash with a new campaign ad in which he blows away an elephant piñata with a shotgun criticized a Republican challenger for giving away guns on the campaign trail less than one month ago.

In a new campaign ad, Democratic hopeful Estakio Beltran, clad in blue jeans and rolled-up shirt sleeves, poses with his back to the sun in a Western gunslinger motif and asks, "What happens to an elephant that stands around doing nothing for too long?"

He then takes aim at an elephant piñata with a shotgun and blasts it.

The ad ends with Beltran saying "My name's Estakio Beltran," followed by a pause in which he loudly cocks the gun and then, "and I approve this message."

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He was not so approving of such a message a few short weeks ago.

When tea party Republican candidate Clint Didier, a former tight end for the Super Bowl-winning Washington Redskins teams of the 1980s, hosted a gun contest in which two pistols and a rifle were given away in June, Beltran criticized him for showing insensitivity to the victims of gun shootings.

"I am a strong upholder of the Constitution and fully support the Second Amendment rights of all Americans," Beltran told the Tri-City Herald. "However, as a congressional candidate, I am sensitive to the grief that many here in Washington may be feeling as a result of recent tragedies. This may not be the most appropriate time to hold such a promotion."

Four people were injured in a June 5 shooting at Seattle Pacific University and one later died.

Beltran, 31, a former aide to Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell from Washington and former Rep. Dennis Cardoza of California , is one of 12 announced candidates vying to replace retiring Republican Rep. Doc Hastings.

Eight Republicans, two Democrats and two independents are competing to claim two spots in an Aug. 5 primary under Washington state's top two primary system, the Yakima Herald reports.

David Wasserman, House editor for The Cook Political Report, told the paper, "It's possible Beltran will get into the top two, but he has no hope of winning the seat whatsoever."

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