FRANKFORT — The mean-spirited political battle between Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler and Republican Andy Barr embraced Halloween on Monday as Barr's campaign released a trick-or-treat TV ad that calls Chandler "one scary guy."
The ad shows a costumed character resembling Chandler approaching a door opened by a white-haired woman with a bowl of treats. She drops it as a child's voice says Chandler has been "trying to scare old people like my grandma" — a reference to Chandler's claims about how Barr would change the Medicare program.
The ad also says Chandler "picks on coal miners" and "hangs out with President Obama, taking people's money like it's candy."
Chandler's campaign immediately blasted the ad, calling Barr "a man who gets children in masks to spread his lies."
"This is a new low, even for Andy Barr," Chandler campaign manager Eric Nagy said in a news release. "Barr has been crying to the press about how negative this campaign has been, yet his new ad brings a whole new meaning to the word childish."
The Chandler campaign said it had no plans to air any negative ads for the remainder of the race, which has seen weeks worth of attack ads — many featuring false or misleading statements — from both candidates and several independent issues groups.
Chandler launched his latest TV ad Friday. The spot says he has helped save jobs in Kentucky by blocking "job-killing regulations" and pushing to get new tax breaks for small businesses.
In the ad, Chandler says Barr supports tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.
The Barr campaign disputed the comment.
Also, the National Republican Congressional Committee launched a TV ad Monday that urges undecided voters to look at Chandler's support of President Barack Obama on energy issues.
Voters in the 19-county district will decide the race Nov. 6. Barr, a Lexington attorney, lost to Chandler, who has held the congressional seat since 2004, by 648 votes in 2010. Chandler is from Woodford County.