LAS VEGAS — Two new attack ads hit the airwaves Tuesday in the tight race for Nevada’s 4th Congressional District — a swing district that’s held by a Republican in spite of its 10-point Democratic registration advantage.
The National Republican Congressional Committee’s new ad associates Democratic state Sen. Ruben Kihuen with “sleaze,” saying he’s “picking our pockets while lining his own.”
It criticizes Kihuen for supporting a bill in 2011 that created the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, before he took a job with Ramirez Group, a public relations and lobbying firm that got a major private contract with the exchange.
All lawmakers, including then-Assemblyman Cresent Hardy, supported the bill. Hardy currently holds the 4th Congressional District seat.
“This is just a desperate attempt from Washington Republicans to distract from Congressman Hardy’s dangerous record siding with the gun lobby against Nevadans, and his ‘100 percent’ support for Donald Trump,” Kihuen’s campaign manager Dave Chase said about the new ad.
Guns are the key theme in a commercial released Tuesday by Kihuen’s campaign. It criticizes Hardy’s opposition to gun control measures and highlights a Hardy statement that he supports gun access for people with mental illness.
“Cresent Hardy and Republicans in Congress are not keeping us safe,” the narrator says.
Hardy’s campaign responded by pointing to the congressman’s co-sponsorship of a mental health reform bill that passed the U.S. House with a near unanimous vote this summer.
“This issue is too important to play politics with and that’s why Congressman Hardy voted for the most comprehensive reform to our nation’s mental health delivery system in decades,” Hardy campaign manager Ross Hemminger said.
Hardy is considered one of the most vulnerable House members this cycle.
However, Kihuen warned union supporters at a weekend campaign event that the latest Republican poll showed him two points behind and they needed to work hard to help him reclaim the seat for Democrats.