Brandon Martin has never served in Congress but he’s picked up a few tricks already. Martin finished second to Lea Marquez Peterson in the 2018 Congressional District 2 GOP primary. She lost to Democrat Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick in the general.

He’s running again in a crowded 2020 GOP field, so crowded he’s taken the “anything for ink” approach to campaigning. In October, he sent out an email begging for money — he called it “ammunition” — to keep the dream afloat: “Will you load me up with a donation… so I can train my sights on Ann Kirkpatrick and remove her from office in 2020?”

That, in the same district where Rep. Gabby Giffords was targeted for assassination in 2011.

Brandon Martin has hit rock bottom and has begun digging. Earlier this month, he sent out another pitiful cry that continues to speak to a lack of character and soul.

His demand: That Kirkpatrick, who recently acknowledged a drinking problem, “undergo periodic alcohol testing upon her return to work.”

The guy’s all class. But here, taken from what he called a press release, is why he might fit in well in the swamp (which is deeper than ever).

PRETEND IMPORTANT PEOPLE CARE WHAT YOU THINK: Martin’s press release was sent to the attention of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Speaker, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer; Majority Whip James Clyburn, and Hakeem Jeffries, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. Earth to Brandon Martin: They’re not listening. But you go ahead pretending.

SPEAK FOR EVERYBODY: Even when you don’t. Martin says he’s making the demand on behalf of everybody in CD2. I live there; no, he’s not.

AIM LOW: And what could be lower than going after somebody who’s just made the very difficult decision to seek help? Martin would tell us “periodic alcohol testing” is necessary because Kirkpatrick sits on important committees such as agriculture, “which is responsible for various issues related to renewable energy, rural development, nutrition, crop insurance…” And your point, Brandon?

TALK IN BIG, BIG CIRCLES (Picture my arm swirling around): Clearly, whoever wrote this release struggles with English. But if I were to take a stab at interpreting the third paragraph, I think it has decided Kirkpatrick’s alcohol problem poses a threat to our “general welfare and security” and her seat on certain committees should be assessed along with — and I kid you not, he says it — her voting record. Hmm, Martin drops a big hint here. The reveal comes a couple of paragraphs later.

LIE ABOUT YOUR INTENTIONS: Hey, this isn’t about “general welfare and security,” it’s about the fact she’s a Democrat. Martin tries to paint Kirkpatrick as off kilter because of “her recent action of calling for an impeachment inquiry on 16 July 2019, her vote to impeach the President of the United States, and the great responsibility of voting to declare war…” He doesn’t like her politics! Go figure! And it was written for one reason: Kirkpatrick is a strong bet to retain the seat, regardless of anything going on in her life.

Martin’s “press release” leaves me a bit deflated and depressed. He comes off like a pathetic bully, tone deaf to the fact that we’re all tired of this kind of trash.

Politics has always been rough and tumble but he’s ventured into cruel and crude.

The good news is that people can change, they can become better. Ann Kirkpatrick is on that road right now. We hope Brandon Martin finds it soon.

— Dan Shearer