Kate Whitman’s controversial attack ad against rival Leonard Lance has drawn the ire of the Congressman they’re both hoping to replace.
Seventh district Rep. Mike Ferguson, who’s retiring after he serves out his current term, has remained neutral despite the crowded field of candidates vying to replace him. But yesterday he told the Bridgewater Courier-News that a recent cable television ad from the Whitman campaign was particularly outlandish.
The ad argues that, during Lance’s time in Trenton, spending and property taxes have increased.
“I was very disappointed to see Kate’s ad, because it’s false, it’s misleading, it’s a complete distortion of Senator Lance’s record,” Ferguson told the newspaper.
Lance has cast himself as a fiscal conservative who fought against state borrowing during his time in the legislature, including the plans of Whitman’s own mother during her terms as Governor.
Ferguson went on to say that Lance could be considered the frontrunner for the nomination, and that such accusations hurt the party as a whole.
“One of these candidates is ultimately going to be our nominee, and obviously I think you could make an argument that Senator Lance is the frontrunner because he has the county organization support in both Hunterdon and Somerset counties,” Ferguson told the paper. “To launch this kind of an attack on the frontrunner candidate who may well end up being our nominee, and have that attack come from a fellow Republican, is really just out of bounds.”
In the article, Whitman defended the ad.
“I am not saying that Leonard Lance hasn’t been down in Trenton and hasn’t fought the good fight. I think he has fought, but he has failed,” she said. “My point is that he had his chance, he failed, and now it’s time for someone new.”