tags: , , Press Releases

Virginia’s GOP Candidate for Governor Ed Gillespie Doubles Down and Continues Race Baiting with Abhorrent and Misleading Ad

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The racist 30-second spot uses images of MS-13 gang members in an El Salvador prison in last ditch effort to motivate voters by appealing to their fears

Washington, DC – Republican Ed Gillespie released his latest ad attacking Democratic candidate Ralph Northam last night. In it, Gillespie uses imagery of MS-13 gang members in a prison — in El Salvador — while “Kill, Rape, Control” flashes across the screen. The spot criticizes Northam through a manufactured attack line from the Virginia GOP — that he supports sanctuary cities. Virginia does not have sanctuary cities.

Luis Aguilar, CASA in Action: “Ed Gillespie clearly believes that his route to victory rests in demonizing young Latino men and the immigrant community as a whole. He may believe it is an effective campaign tactic, but the people I speak with are furious with the abject racism of Ed Gillespie’s campaign and plan to deliver that message on election day.”

Grecia Lima, Center for Community Change Action: “Ed Gillespie has a clear strategy: distract voters from his long career as corporate lobbyist siding with rich CEOs shipping jobs out of the state by demonizing immigrants and playing up threats to public safety.  It won’t work because Virginia is better than Ed Gillespie.”

Frank Sharry, America’s Voice Executive Director: “With his latest attack ad, Republican Ed Gillespie has doubled down on his divisive, racist, fear-mongering strategy to win votes. As a Virginian, I am appalled by the demonizing of immigrants that comes directly out of the ugly Trump-Corey Stewart playbook.  After Charlottesville, our state needs healing, not more hate.​ ​Residents of Virginia are looking for leaders who offer concrete reforms to the toughest issues we face, not politicians pitting Virginians against Virginians for political gain.”

Tom Steyer, Founder & President, NextGen America: “This ad is the latest example of the hate-filled, fear-mongering campaign that Ed Gillespie has run. Equating sanctuary cities and the immigrant community with the MS13 gang is coded racism and plays into the hands of the white supremacists that marched through Charlottesville last month. This ad proves that Ed Gillespie lacks the moral leadership to serve Virginia. As Governor, Ralph Northam will move the state forward and defend our values against those, like Ed, who want to take us back.”

Lizet Ocampo, Political Director, People For the American Way: “Ed Gillespie’s decision to smear all undocumented people as murderers and rapists is the clearest example yet that he’s copying Donald Trump’s hateful, bigoted playbook. Just like Donald Trump, he’s fanning the flames of hatred in order to distract from his long career as corporate lobbyist, his plans to cut funding for schools and his extreme anti-middle class agenda. This ad is disgusting and it only reminds Virginia voters who rejected Trump that Ed Gillespie is more of the same.”

Maria Urbina, Political Director, Indivisible: “In the same way that Donald Trump has demonized and scapegoated immigrants for quick political points, Ed Gillespie is attempting to use the same fear and xenophobia to help propel him into the Governor’s mansion. His offensive, racist, and anti-immigrant ad serves only to embolden white supremacists and further divide Virginians. What Virginia needs is leadership, honesty, and integrity.  With this ad, Gillespie proved once again he lacks these qualities.”

Follow Julio Lainez (@JulioCLainez), America’s Voice Virginia State Director, and America’s Voice (@AmericasVoice) on Twitter as we cover the Virginia elections of 2017.

Follow Frank Sharry and America’s Voice on Twitter: @FrankSharry and @AmericasVoice

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