One of the most common types of negative ads we’ve seen this year is the contrast ad, which simply tries to draw a contrast between a candidate and their opponent. Democrat Missy Cotter-Smasal (SD-8) is up with an ad contrasting her stance in support of Medicaid expansion against her Republican opponent, who voted against the bill. Republican Del. Tim Hugo (HD-40) is also up with a contrast ad on healthcare, claiming that Democrat Dan Helmer “will take away your insurance.”
While some campaigns have stuck to the issues, others have gotten personal. GOP Sen. Glen Sturtevant (SD-10) is currently running an ad calling Democrat Ghazala Hashmi a “political opportunist” for taking money from Gov. Ralph Northam’s PAC.
Meanwhile, Republican Ian Lovejoy’s campaign is running the most brutal personal attacks of anyone in the state, calling Democratic Del. Lee Carter (HD-50) a “deadbeat” for missing child support payments and even going as far as launching an entire website to attack his opponent.
Negative ads have always been an unfortunate staple of political campaigns, but most candidates can take the heat. Republican Del. Glenn Davis (HD-84), on the other hand, is really, really, definitely not bothered by Democratic attack ads. He’s so unbothered, in fact, that his campaign’s digital spending has mostly gone to bizarre videos of him standing in front of a green screen complaining about negative ads while stock images show up behind him. And for more proof of how well he’s taking it, he filed Democratic attacks against him as an in-kind donation from the Virginia Democratic Party, arguing that these attacks actually helped his campaign. Really.