The Republican Governors Association (RGA) Right Direction PAC has launched a new ad campaign in Louisiana targeting gubernatorial Democratic candidate Shawn Wilson.
In the ad, “Gone Crazy,” Wilson is portrayed as a radical who embraces the far left on what the group describes as an out-of-touch environmental agenda.
The 30-second ad is airing statewide in what the RGA describes as “a significant investment,” language the group uses to describe its ad buys in both Louisiana and Kentucky where Republicans are hoping to either oust (Kentucky) or recapture (Louisianan) the states’ top executive posts.
The ad begins with a throw back to Republicans’ affinity toward gas stoves.
“Joe Biden is so liberal, he even wants to ban gas stoves,” a narrator begins in the ad. “It’s government gone crazy.”
The narrator then goes on to say that Wilson, who the ad describes as “Biden’s buddy” along with a photo of the two shaking hands, “has an even crazier idea.”
“He’s coming for your cars,” she exclaims.
The ad then pivots to footage of Wilson saying that voters need “to realize that you can’t all have your cars and travel like you used to.”
The narrator questions the statement, replays it and then questions it again before replaying the statement a third time.
The ad ends with the narrator declaring that Wilson is “even more liberal than Biden.”
Wilson is running to replace Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, who cannot seek re-election due to term limits.
This isn’t the first time the former Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation has faced criticism from the right on his record.
At the beginning of the month, RGA’s Right Direction PAC launched an ad campaign touting what they called Wilson’s “failed record,” highlighting an $18 million backlog in necessary repairs to roads. The ad claims that the disrepair costs “Louisiana drivers an extra $650 a year in car repairs.”
A couple of weeks later, the same group again attacked Wilson as a “kingmaker” who used a “sweetheart deal” to help a political donor. That ad highlights a $5 million consulting contract paid to a bidder who scored lowest during the bidding process, though Wilson had noted at the time that those technical scores did not consider support from regional leaders and members of the Capital Area Road and Bridge District, which was leading efforts to finance the new bridge in question.
Wilson is one of three Democrats running. The Republican field is far more crowded, with eight candidates currently running. Wilson is considered a top contender, along with Republican Jeff Landry, who has already secured his party’s endorsement.
Louisiana holds nonpartisan open Primaries that put all candidates on the same ballot regardless of party affiliation. That means a candidate could win outright in the October 14 Primary if they receive more than 50% of the vote. That’s an unlikely scenario considering the number of candidates in the race, and means the most likely scenario is a General Election contest between Landry and Wilson on Nov. 18.