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Hovey Apologizes for Telling Giffords to 'Stay Out' of Newtown

Rep. DebraLee Hovey originally posted the status Friday in response to former Rep. Giffords' visit, but deleted it Sunday afternoon, the Hartford Courant reports.

NEWTOWN — State Rep. DebraLee Hovey (R-112) just issued an apology for a post she made Friday on her personal Facebook page in which she reportedly wrote, "Gabby Gifford stay out of my towns!!"

The post, which was captured in a screenshot taken by the Hartford Courant before it was deleted Sunday, was directed at the former United States Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who visited Newtown Friday to meet with some of the families who lost a child in the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

"[The Giffords visit] was political," Hovey wrote in a comment on her own post, according to another screenshot taken by The Courant. "The LT Gov was there, Blumenthall was there and 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" (Like former Rep. Giffords, Lt. Gov. Wyman and Sen. Blumenthal are both Democrats.)

In a statement, released Monday at about 12:30 p.m., Hovey's office noted that the state representative was in Florida attending a Board meeting of the Women in Government national organization during the Giffords' visit.

"The remarks I made regarding Congresswoman Gifford's visit were insensitive and if I offended anyone I truly apologize," Hovey said. "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."

According to representatives from Gov. Malloy's office, Giffords  as well as Lt. Gov. Wyman and Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra, in her Friday visit. Giffords resigned from congress in 2012 after surviving an assassination attempt in an Arizona mass shooting almost two years ago.

Hovey represents Connecticut's 112th district, which includes a portion of Newtown and Monroe — the neighboring town that has opened its Chalk Hill building to house Sandy Hook students for the remainder of the school year.

On Friday, Hovey outlined a four-point "action plan" response to the Sandy Hook shooting, including requests for task forces to investigate violent video games and child and adolescent violence.

"The events of Dec. 14 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," Hovey said. "My deepest condolences continue to go out to the families, the community of Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown and Connecticut."

bordwithbs January 08, 2013 at 01:07 PM
It wasn't political until this jerk-wad made it so. I don't see her "4 point plan" include restricting, limiting, or eliminating assault weapons or multi-round ammunition sales. So what's the plan? More "committee" nonsense?
bart January 08, 2013 at 02:23 PM
This women has no right to come and rehash everything with these family's all it does is inflict more pain and increses the time to heal. Just a political pig looking for points at their expense. If it was my kid I'd tell her you have nothing to dffer your not a doctor or psychiatrist that was requested to come. Just a political pundint and tell her leave me alone look for points somewhere else your only hurting people buy bringing it up all over again.This is not entertament or circus show.
Jennifer January 08, 2013 at 04:42 PM
"Giffords resigned from congress in 2012 after surviving an assassination attempt in an Arizona mass shooting almost two years ago." Apparently Newtown was taking anyone to help at the time of the tragedy. Gifford seems to have a little experience in this category. All comments, actions, hysteria should be excused during this awful event - something like this is hard to avoid REACTION and difficult to bring thoughtful RESPONSE in the heat of the moment. I was ready to pounce on this article, but think it's better not to join a circus. We should all have mercy. Peace and blessings ~Jennifer
Donna Johnston January 09, 2013 at 04:25 AM
I think Gifford's attempt was to help wherever she could being a survivor of this type of horrible experience and to help in the grief process. I am an AZ resident now but a former Newtown resident with family still there. I went to school for 4th grade at Sandy Hook. Mrs. Gifford is a caring person and I do not see why anyone would not want her to come and offer her condolences or help in any way! Shame on Rep DebraLee Hovey! I am ashamed as a former Newtown resident that a former Rep like Gifford was treated with this much disrespect! HOW could she (Hovey) think this was politically motivated when there is no one running for politics or any political gain or anything else! SHAME on Hovey! If I was back in CT I would surely vote her out! There is no place in politics for misplaced and misguided and personal interpretation of a situation! And don't tell me I'm an outsider! I'm not! Have much more to say about Hovey but will post else where!
Donna Johnston January 09, 2013 at 04:27 AM
Would love to debate Hovey's 4 points

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