- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

TOMS RIVER, N.J. (AP) - A Democratic group has pulled an ad in a New Jersey congressional race after the threat of a lawsuit from the Republican candidate in a campaign that’s been full of accusations and disputes.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said Tuesday that it would stop running an ad attacking 3rd District Republican candidate Tom MacArthur, who is in a tight race against Democrat Aimee Belgard for the seat.

At issue was the group’s claim that MacArthur profited from bad practices by an insurance firm he used to own. The DCCC says MacArthur now says he did not have an ownership stake in the firm at the time of lawsuits from firefighters who said the company refused to pay their claims - and that he changed his story.

MacArthur’s campaign spokesman says it was always clear that his income in question came from residuals from his 2010 sale of York Risk Services Group.

MacArthur’s campaign says its lawyer was walking into a courthouse to file a lawsuit asking that a judge order the ad be removed when they received word that the DCCC was taking it off the air.

“Today is a victory for the truth, and a devastating blow to the empty, dishonest campaign of my opponent,” MacArthur said in a statement.

It’s clear that the pulled ad won’t end Democrats’ attacks on MacArthur’s role in an insurance firm.

“Nothing changes the fact that Tom MacArthur ran an insurance company that has been accused of cheating disaster victims? and would have the wrong priorities in Congress,” Emily Bittner, a spokeswoman for the DCCC, which is not allowed under the law to coordinate its ad strategy with Belgard’s campaign, said in a statement.

The two candidates are scheduled to appear together Friday to record a joint interview to air on NJTV.

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