A week after the first round of positive ads hit the airwaves in the Pittsburgh market, GOP hopeful Raja is up with the first attack ad of the SD37 special election.
The spot attempts to brand Democratic candidate Pam Iovino as a member of the far left.
“Raja’s vision for Pittsburgh, jobs,” the 30 second ad “Vision” opens up. “100 thousand new hard hat and office jobs by making us the world’s energy hub and billions in economic growth from a manufacturing rebirth.”
Then it pivots to Iovino, whose photo appears alongside Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). It represents a sort of passing of the torch from Pelosi, long a GOP boogeyman, to Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez, the faces of the progressive movement on the left.
“Pam Iovino, she teamed up with extremist, to stop our growth with billions in new energy taxes resulting in higher energy bills and massive job losses crushing a generation of job opportunity,” the ad continues. “Pittsburgh can’t afford Iovino’s extremism.”
It’s a race to define Iovino, whose résumé is lengthy but unknown to many voters.
Iovino’s campaign pointed to her 23 years of service in the Navy, where she earned the rank of captain. They compared Raja’s ad to GOP messaging against another western PA Democrat in last year’s PA18 special election.
“She served in a Republican administration in the Department of Veterans Affairs, and was unanimously confirmed by the US Senate to be an Assistant Secretary,” said Abigail Gardner, Communications Director for the Iovino campaign. “Obviously her background of putting service and the country first can’t be attacked, so the Raja campaign is making up things up instead. Republicans tried to do the same thing to Conor Lamb and it failed miserably.”