- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A conservative group is out with a new spot denouncing as “race hustling” a recent ad paid for by a leading Democratic Super PAC tying Republican Thom Tillis, running for U.S. Senate in North Carolina, to the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida.

“Have you heard this race-hustling Kay Hagan ad paid for by Harry Reid’s super PAC? Probably not. Because they’re not running it on this station,” a narrator says in the ad from the group American Commitment.

Audio from the Senate Majority PAC ad then plays:

“Tillis won’t fight for us. Instead, he made it harder for communities of color to vote, by restricting early voting and voter registration. Tillis even led the effort to pass the type of ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws that caused the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.”

“Desperate to hold on to power, Obama, Reid and Hagan are shamelessly race-baiting, and it’s only going to get worse in the final weekend,” the narrator continues.

Mr. Tillis is running in a too-close-to-call race against Democratic incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan.

The 17-year-old Martin was killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in February 2012, an incident that ignited tensions over race both in Florida and across the country. Mr. Zimmerman was acquitted by a jury in the shooting.

Senate Majority PAC, the leading Democratic super PAC this cycle devoted to electing Democrats to the U.S. Senate, has ties to Mr. Reid but is not allowed to officially coordinate with individual candidates.

The Hagan campaign, for its part, distanced itself from the effort.

“Kay believes that we need a dialogue in our communities about these issues, but she doesn’t believe it’s productive or right to inject election year politics into that dialogue,” spokesman Chris Hayden said in an e-mail.

It’s not the first time race has come into play in the contest. A few weeks ago in Fayetteville, N.C., churchgoers found flyers declaring that “Kay Hagan doesn’t win! Obama’s impeachment will begin! Vote in 2014” superimposed over an image of what appears to be a lynching.

And state Rep. Alma Adams, running for the U.S. House in North Carolina’s 12th congressional district, reportedly referred to Mr. Tillis as “Uncle Tom” at a recent rally headlined by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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