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Latest Pryor Ad Hits Cotton Over Voting Record, Ebola

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The race for U.S. senate between incumbent democrat Mark Pryor and republican challenger Tom Cotton is getting more aggressive.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The race for U.S. senate between incumbent democrat Mark Pryor and republican challenger Tom Cotton is getting more aggressive.

The latest ads from Pryor, hitting Cotton hard over his voting record and talking Ebola.

The latest TV ad in the race for Arkansas Senate is getting a lot of attention. Both candidates held press conferences on Wednesday to talk about it.

The narrator in the Pryor TV ad states "The outbreak is quote, vastly underestimated."

It's the latest political ad in Arkansas's competitive senate race, flashing across TV screens.

The narrator said, "Congressman Cotton voted against preparing America for pandemics like Ebola."

Incumbent democrat Mark Pryor's camp is aiming the ad at his opponent, congressman Tom Cotton.

Cotton said, "This ad is obviously smacks of desperation. Obviously Ebola is a serious matter but Mark Pryor's ad is not."

The narrator in the ad said, "Cotton voted to cut billions."

Pryor's camp is referring to The Pandemic and All-hazards Preparedness re-authorization Act of 2013, or HR 307 that was later passed after a Senate amendment. It's a bill Cotton voted against at first.

Cotton said, "I opposed an earlier version because it would have allowed Barack Obama to authorize the mandatory assignment of Arkansas Health officials to outbreak zones against their wishes. Once we fixed that problem and made those assignments voluntary, I supported the legislation. 

The original bill allowed state governors to request authorization from the Secretary of Health and Human Services to reassign state health officials to combat a health emergency. 

The amendment allows those officials to refuse a reassignment if they choose. 

But cotton's initial nay is something Pryor wants voters to remember.

Pryor said, "When congressman Cotton voted no on this he had no idea that months and months later he might get a second bite of this apple. He had no idea of that."

The narrator in the ad concluded, "He was the only Arkansas congressman to vote this way."

University of Arkansas political science professor, Dr. Janine Parry, believes the latest ad is part of an ongoing scheme from the Pryor camp, one that she says is effective.

Parry said, "The reality is they are trying to get our attention, it is a very noisy political environment and Ebola is on top of the agenda globally right now. It's a risk that the camp takes in trying to get our attention and trying to distinguish themselves from a candidate who is really very different in terms of political philosophy. 

Parry says we haven't seen the last of these campaign ads, but whether or not voters will buy into the negativity, final tallies at the polls will tell.

Cotton said, "This ad accusing me of being pro-Ebola goes farther than any ad already. But it is similar to all his other false attacks.

Pryor said, "His response is kind of to make light of this almost to make a joke out of it and say that we are accusing him of starting this pandemic. No one has done that."

There are mixed opinions on the effects of negative political ads. Some say they encourage voter turnout, while others say it does the opposite. We'll have to wait and see what happens in November.


(courtesy KNWA)
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