Steve Beshear's latest ad criticizes David Williams for being a 'career politician'

09/21/2011 06:43 AM

Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear’s campaign isn’t letting up on critical ad messages aimed at Republican challenger, David Williams, despite the governor’s large lead in the polls.

Beshear’s seventh ad of the general election, which began airing Tuesday, starts by with an interview clip showing Williams referencing his long tenure in Frankfort. Williams, first elected to the legislature in November 1984, has served in the Senate since 1987 — the last 11 years as its president.

Beshear, meanwhile, served in the legislature in the 1970s, as attorney general from 1979 to 1983 and as lieutenant governor from 1983 to 1987. Beshear returned to private law practice after losing the 1987 governor’s race and made a failed bid for U.S. Senate in 1996 before winning the governor’s office in 2007.

The Beshear campaign’s new ad also cites money Williams authorized for legislative office renovations in 2006. That also was a theme in the Beshear campaign’s sixth TV ad.

The third line of attack in this latest commercial says that because Williams voted for changes to the state legislators’ pensions, it would allow him to collect a million dollar pension over the rest of his life.

But Williams has said before he would forgo or return any pension increase gained by any time served as governor if elected.

In response to the ad, retired Gen. Donald Storm, Williams’ campaign chairman, called the spot “false, negative and hypocritical.”

“Anyone can run negative spots and drive this campaign into the gutter, but the question is which candidate is putting forward real ideas and is willing to show up and debate them,” Storm said in a statement. “We are comfortable with running an ideas-based campaign because David wants to move this state forward and has a real plan to do it.”

The ad is the first time the Beshear campaign has devoted the full length of a commercial to attacking Williams. Previously, the campaign flipped time between touting Beshear and attacking Williams on the office renovations.

Williams is still running an attack ad against Beshear that criticizes the governor for job losses and high unemployment in Kentucky.

Williams and Beshear are joined by independent candidate Gatewood Galbraith in the November election.

-Reporting by Kenny Colston

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