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Candidate scraps shotgun-blast ad against Congress

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — A Democrat running for Congress in conservative central Washington has removed an online campaign video that showed him blasting an elephant-shaped piñata with a shotgun. The Tri-City Herald reports (http://is.gd/17w5n6 ) that the advertisement by Estakio Beltran generated a lot of criticism, including from a group founded former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona Democrat who survived a gunshot wound to the head in 2011. The group called it "irresponsible and offensive." The campaign removed the video from YouTube on Saturday. In a statement emailed to The Associated Press, Beltran spokesman Grady O'Brien said the purpose of the ad was to call attention to a "do-nothing Congress." The 30-year-old Beltran is one of a dozen candidates running to replace retiring Republican Rep. Doc Hastings in the 4th District. The primary will be held Aug. 5.

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