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Arizona governor hopeful David Garcia finds ex-staffer’s tweets ‘disturbing’

(AP Photo/Bob Christie)

PHOENIX — Arizona Democratic gubernatorial candidate David Garcia’s digital director resigned Friday after tweets using anti-law enforcement, anti-Arizona and anti-America verbiage were unearthed from the staffer’s social media account.

According to Garcia’s campaign, former digital director Xenia Orona offered her resignation following a post from PJ Media, a conservative news blog. The story pointed out multiple tweets from her personal account.

“This is a personnel matter. We discovered those tweets — many of them multiple years old — and we found them to be disturbing. We found them to be disappointing as well and she has resigned,” Garcia told Mac & Gaydos on KTAR News 92.3 FM on Friday. “We are moving on as a campaign.

“It’s not just running for governor … this is an environment now around social media. It certainly presents a challenge.”

Arizona Police Association executive director Joe Clure condemned some of the tweets as “anti-police rhetoric.” He also called on Garcia to “denounce this attack on police officers.”

One of the tweets used a three-letter hashtag that Clure claimed indicated an anti-law enforcement stance. Another cursed Arizona the night of the 2012 general election, when the state’s electoral votes went to Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

“Campaign staffers at this level are a reflection of the candidate,” Clure said.

A third tweet that the Arizona Police Association used on its posters said “Law and order is the smokescreen that bigots hide their hate behind. Remember that when you hear talk of enforcement. #DACA.” Her account has since been set to private.

Garcia is running against state Sen. Steve Farley and activist Kelly Fryer in a three-way primary.

The Arizona State University professor has built his campaign on education issues. The 50-year-old Mesa native teaches the subject and ran for state superintendent of public schools in 2014, losing in the general election to Diane Douglas.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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