THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Candidate calls decision to shoot at target with foe’s initials a joke, then a mistake

Associated Press / October 10, 2009

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MIAMI - A South Florida Republican said it was a mistake to shoot at a target with the initials of the Democratic congresswoman he is trying to unseat.

Candidate Robert Lowry made a brief statement to a local newspaper but refused to speak further yesterday about the incident, which happened Tuesday during a weekly GOP meeting held at a gun range.

Organizer Ed Napolitano defended the gathering, as well as the use of posters of what appeared to be gunmen with traditional Arab head scarves as targets. “That’s our right,’’ said Napolitano, president of the Southeast Broward Republican Club. “If we want to shoot at targets that look like that, we’re going to go ahead and do that.’’

Lowry told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that shooting at a target with the letters “DWS’’ - a not-so-veiled reference to US Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz - was a “joke,’’ but then said it “was a mistake.’’

His campaign manager, Chris Leggatt, said yesterday: “I don’t think we need to make any further comment about it. It’s an issue that’s been addressed.’’

Wasserman Schultz, who made headlines earlier this year when she announced she had been battling breast cancer, represents a liberal district that includes a stretch of South Florida from Fort Lauderdale to Miami Beach. She is expected to easily win reelection, though Lowry and three other GOP candidates are vying to face her.