Progressive firebrand Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) is taking hits from Republicans for his choice of facial hair. The state GOP is running a mailer on behalf of Grijalva's opponent, Ruth McClung, that parodies Grijalva's trademark facial hair and, perhaps, raises a few eyebrows regarding what it might imply about Grijalva's ethnic background.
McClung's campaign says any concern about the mailer is much ado about nothing.
"It's certainly not about the fact that he's Hispanic," McClung spokesperson Sam Stone told me yesterday. "His campaign signs feature that exact same mustache."
"He's made his mustache an issue," Stone added.
The spokesperson was quick to add that McClung's campaign is not responsible for the mailer -- it was sent out by the state party, Stone said, and McClung had nothing to do with it.
He's right that Grijalva has used his whiskers as a rallying cry in the campaign, but their portrayal on the GOP mailer is significantly different from how it looks on the Democrat's literature.
You be the judge. Here's Grijalva's logo, from his campaign website:
And here's the GOP mailer, obtained by TPM this week:
Photo wrangling by Jon Terbush.