Rep. French Hill is following the lead of other vulnerable Republicans in 2018 in a new ad targeting his Democratic opponent for supposedly aligning with Hillary Clinton and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Hill, who represents Arkansas’ 2nd District, began airing ads on television this week in which a narrator declares that his opponent in the general election, state Rep. Clarke Tucker, is a “Hillary Clinton-supporting Democrat for higher taxes and bigger government.”
“No wonder Clarke Tucker is the hand-picked candidate of Nancy Pelosi’s liberal Washington allies,” the narrator says.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee added Tucker to its Red to Blue program for promising challengers in April, granting him access to additional committee resources.
But Tucker has said he will not vote for Pelosi for speaker if Democrats wrest back control of the House and characterized the ad as misleading.
“I think this commercial sums up nicely the reason I decided to run,” Tucker told The Associated Press. “You have a congressman using D.C.-based political tactics designed to divide and scare people, and I’m running a campaign focused on the people in central Arkansas, and the issues like health care, education, and the economy that are important to us.”
President Donald Trump carried the 2nd District, which includes Little Rock and outlying areas, by 11 points in 2016, but Democrats are confident they can challenge Hill, a second-term congressman, this November.
Other vulnerable Republicans in swing districts have tried to demonstrate ties between their Democratic opponents and party establishment figures like Pelosi, Clinton, and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York.
At one point early in this election cycle, Pelosi was featured in more than a third of House GOP candidates’ broadcast ads, USA TODAY reported in April, per data provided by Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group.
That’s more than a 300 percent increase over 2016.