Connecticut State Rep. DebraLee Hovey issued an apology Monday for telling former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords to "stay out of" Newtown on her Facebook page.
"The remarks I made regarding Congresswoman Gifford's visit were insensitive and if I offended anyone I truly apologize. 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."
Hovey, who represents Newtown and Monroe, posted a message Sunday telling Giffords to "stay out of my towns!!" a couple days after Giffords met with Senator Richard Blumenthal, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, and First Selectwoman Pat Lloadra at the Newtown Municipal Center. Shortly after the meeting, Giffords met with the families of the victims who were killed by a deadly shooting on Dec. 14 at Sandy Hook elementary school.
A Republican politician, Hovey commented on her Facebook post and called the meeting entirely "political" because only Democrats were invited to the meeting that was closed to the press. "...all political types KNOW it is courteous to let sitting Reps know when another political is in their District. So…… There was pure political motives." Hovey wrote. Hovey's Facebook page has since been made private and local Connecticut papers were unable to reach her for comment.
Pat Llodra, also a Republican, told the Danbury News Times that the meeting covered a range of issues including gun control, access to mental health care and society's view on violence. Llodra added that Giffords wanted to visit Newtown so that she could provide comfort and support to the community and the victims' families.