More negative campaigns ads in the US Senate race

Thursday, July 22nd 2004, 12:25 pm
By: News On 6

Oklahoma's Republican US Senate race is hitting new lows.

A new round of campaign ads started in Oklahoma City - but has yet to hit Tulsa - and it's got even Republicans calling for a truce.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan has this campaign 2004 update.

Kirk Humphreys started the race with two influential endorsements – US Senator Jim Inhofe and former congressman JC Watts. J.C. Watts: "I've known Kirk Humphreys for over 20 years." And he got the nod from the man he wants to replace - Senator Don Nickles. Humphreys: "Our conservative values are why they've all endorsed me.” But now Nickles is asking Humphreys to stop negative ads.

Nickles says "several parties have contributed to the negative tone in this primary race. I would urge all candidates and outside groups to run positive ads." That came after an ad run by the Humphreys campaign. Announcer: "Do we know the real Tom Coburn?" In Congress, Tom Coburn voted against vital defense funding.” And another ad just started in Oklahoma City. Announcer: "Tom Coburn’s voting record is just a sad set of facts. In Congress, Tom Coburn voted against a hotline that could have kept sexual predators from children.”

Coburn promised not to counter attack - but a political action committee the "Club For Growth" is - justifying Coburn's votes as careful spending. Announcer: "maybe Humphreys thinks the 'Cat in the Hat' will protect us from terrorists. A national fish museum, a Chinatown arch, and a tribute to Dr Suess? That's some of the waste Tom Coburn voted against.”

The PAC claims they'll spend $167,000 on the ad just in Oklahoma City. The "Club for Growth" ran the campaigns first negative ad but it was pulled when US Senator Jim Inhofe complained. With another Senator complaining about the ad run by Humphreys - now both campaigns have taken some high level criticism.

For viewers - perhaps the best news is that the primary election is just days away. Both campaigns have new ads coming out in the next few days. Even though the election is next Tuesday - it's possible it could end with a runoff and if that happens - the ads will start up again.