newtown massacre

Newtown Politician to Gabby Giffords: ‘Stay Out of My Towns!!’ [Updated]

State Rep. DebraLee Hovey, R-112 district, including Newtown, grabs the hand of colleague Rep. Laura Hoydick, R-Stratford, left, after speaking at a memorial service for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting before the House of Representatives and Senate meet for special session the state Capitol in Hartford, Conn., Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012.
Photo: Jessica Hill/Corbis

Connecticut legislator DebraLee Hovey, a six-term Republican state representative for the towns of Monroe and Newtown, had some candid, if ill-advised words for Gabrielle Giffords, who visited with victims of the Sandy Hook shooting on Friday. “Gabby Gifford [sic] stay out of my towns!!” Hovey wrote on her then-public Facebook, via mobile from Saint Pete Beach, Florida. “It was political,” she elaborated in the comments, according to cringey screenshots obtained by the Hartford Courant

The Lt Gov was there […] and ALL political types KNOW it is courteous to let sitting Reps known when another political [sic] is in their District,” Hovey went on. “So……. There was pure political motives.” (The visit, while “low-key” and without press, was reported in advance.)

Hovey’s spokesman Jamison Bazinet confirmed to Intelligencer that the statuses were indeed legitimate and have since been deleted. Hovey’s profile has also been switched to private, he said. Bazinet would not comment on why the update was removed, but said Representative Hovey expects to release a statement on the matter this afternoon.

Update: “The remarks I made regarding Congresswoman Gifford’s visit were insensitive and if I offended anyone I truly apologize,” said Hovey in a statement this afternoon.  “My comments were meant to be protective of the privacy of the families and our community as we work to move on, and were in no way intended as an insult to Congresswoman Giffords personally. Our community has struggled greatly through this tragedy, and we are all very sensitive to the potential for this event to be exploited for political purposes. This is what I wish to avoid.”

“The events of December 14th affected all of us deeply and like many others I am still working through my grief and trying to come to terms with what happened, how we as a community and a state move forward and how we can prevent horrific events like this from occurring in the future,” she added.  “My deepest condolences continue to go out to the families, the community of Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown and Connecticut.”

Newtown Politician to Gabby Giffords: ‘Stay Out’