- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Rep. Tom Cotton is countering Sen. Mark Pryor’s attempts to paint him as an opponent of disaster relief, accusing the Democratic lawmaker of using the tornado that ripped through central Arkansas this year for political gain.

Mr. Cotton, a freshman Republican, released a new television ad Tuesday featuring Andy Shock, the sheriff of Faulkner County, which in April was hit by a major tornado that killed multiple people.

“The tornado that hit Faulkner County was an awful tragedy, but we are working hard to recover, ” Mr. Shock says in the ad.

“Despite what you’ve been told, Tom Cotton stood with us every step of the way. Tom voted for disaster relief and full funding of FEMA.”

“Shame on anyone who uses our tragedy for their own political gain. It is just wrong,” Mr. Shock says. “Senator Pryor start focusing on the real issues, leave our community and tragedy out of your campaign.”

Mr. Pryor and Mr. Cotton are facing off in one of the most watched races of the 2014 election season. The GOP needs to win six seats to flip control of the Senate and Mr. Cotton’s ability to knock off Mr. Pryor is seen as key to that effort.

Mr. Pryor and his allies have repeatedly knocked Mr. Cotton for voting against disaster relief packages, pointing to his opposition to financial assistance in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Mr. Cotton, though, did support other proposals that tied increased spending on disaster relief to spending cuts elsewhere in the budget.

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