The race for a Senate seat in Arizona is building up to be an interesting one, and Republicans are doing their best to split Democrats down the middle to draw more attention to the GOP candidate.
The campaign arm of the Senate Republicans released a new marketing campaign on Monday that targets both incumbent Senator Kyrsten Sinema and Democratic Representative Ruben Gallego. It paints those two politicians as “Democrats” in the race.
That’s pertinent as Sinema left the Democratic Party earlier this year to become an independent. She hasn’t yet announced her intentions for next year’s election.
According to Politico Playbook, the ad, which is 30 seconds long, features a narrator who says:
“In Arizona, voters have a choice: There’s rotten Ruben Gallego. He was a spokesman for a crooked bank that targeted immigrants and abandoned his wife when she was nearly nine months pregnant, then married a D.C. lobbyist.
“Or, there’s Senator Kyrsten Sinema. Sinema voted for President Biden’s agenda 100% of the time, backed Biden’s green energy bill, even helped pass Biden’s American Rescue Plan. Deadbeat Dad or Liberal Democrat – Arizonans deserve a better choice.”
The ad campaign totals in the five figures and will run completely on digital means. It’s being geo-targeted specifically for people who live in Arizona, according to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Gallego is currently the leading Democratic candidate in the race. The top two Republican candidates are former conservative news anchor Kari Lake – who narrowly lost the state’s gubernatorial election last year – and Mark Lamb, the current sheriff of Pinal County.
To this point, Sinema hasn’t announced whether she would be seeking re-election next year.
Even if she does decide to run, she could be facing quite the uphill battle to regain her seat. She has angered a lot of Democrats in the state for not siding with the Biden administration on some major packages, such as the Build Back Better bill, which ultimately didn’t receive enough support in the Senate to pass using budget reconciliation.
And, at the same time, she doesn’t engender herself to Republican voters, being as she used to be a Democrat.
In responding to the ad, Gallego’s campaign decided not to comment directly on it when reached by media outlet The Hill. However, they did write in one fundraising email that was sent out this week that the ad was a “baseless, deeply personal attack against Ruben.”
The GOP-led ad references the time that Gallego spent working for a bank concept as its communications director. The financial institution was aiming to work with undocumented immigrants who wanted to apply for a mortgage, the Arizona Republic reported recently.
He later left that project over disputes about the direction of the idea.
The other major reference to Gallego in the ad is about his ex-wife, Kate Gallego, who’s currently the mayor of Phoenix. In 2016, Gallego announced that he and his wife were splitting while Kate was pregnant.