Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's campaign is highlighting his efforts to resolve an overseas parental child abduction case, with the child's mother sharing with Kentucky voters the story she previously told at a Senate hearing.
The campaign has put the account of Noelle Hunter and her daughter Maayimuna "Muna" N'Diaye in a new TV ad, highlighting the Republican leader's personal involvement in getting N'Diaye returned to the United States from Mali, where she was taken by her father. The father disregarded an order of a Kentucky judge regarding shared parental rights. N'Diaye returned to the United States in July.
The minute-long campaign spot featuring Hunter will air statewide, and the campaign told CQ Roll Call the ad buy is at least in the six-figure range. That suggests if it gets resonance, the ad could air even more frequently between now and November. www.youtube.com/watch?v=3k1QUGtvAmc
"I can't even talk about him without getting emotional — he cares. He cared about me and my children when other people didn't," she said in the ad. "He let it be known that this little Kentuckian needed to come home."
The story isn't new to Senate observers. Hunter shared it in testimony before the Foreign Relations Committee in February, while her daughter was still in West Africa. At the hearing she praised the efforts of the Kentucky delegation, including Republican Sen. Rand Paul and House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers.
"In the U.S. House of Representatives, Chairman Rogers has been consistent in his support and outreach efforts on our behalf, and I don't really even have time to tell you of the varied and creative and unwavering support that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has given to this case," Hunter said at the hearing. "Since the first day I brought it to his office he has come alongside me and my family to press with high-ranking members of the Mali government at the U.S. Department of State and even in the Justice Department to secure Muna's return."
The Kentucky Senate race against Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes, the current secretary of state, is rated Leans Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. Republicans must gain six seats to win control of the Senate.
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