Josselyn Berry, the press secretary for Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs of Arizona, is facing backlash from Republicans after posting a controversial tweet in the wake of a recent shooting.
The tweet featured an image of a gun with the text "How about we start protecting trans people and their rights?" The post was made just hours after news broke of a shooting at a local LGBTQ+ youth center.
Republican officials in Arizona quickly condemned the tweet as offensive and demanded action be taken against Berry. State GOP chairwoman Kelli Ward said in a statement that "it's sickening to see someone use tragedy as an opportunity to push their political agenda."
Governor Hobbs has not yet commented on the controversy or announced any disciplinary action against her press secretary. However, this is not the first time Berry's social media activity has come under scrutiny.
Last year, she faced criticism for retweeting anti-police sentiments during protests over racial injustice. At the time, Hobbs defended her spokesperson's right to free speech but emphasized that her personal opinions did not reflect those of the governor's office.
The latest incident involving Berry highlights growing tensions between Democrats and Republicans over issues related to gun control and LGBTQ+ rights. While some have praised Berry's message as an important call-to-action amid ongoing debates surrounding these topics, others argue that using violent imagery in such circumstances is inappropriate and insensitive.
As calls mount for accountability within Governor Hobbs' administration, it remains unclear how this controversy will impact her future political prospects or public perception moving forward.