House GOP candidate says Democrats trying to “shoot down our values” in new ad

Yvette Herrell, a Republican House candidate in New Mexico, is firing back at her opponent with an ad that features her holding a gun and accusing Democrat Xochitl Torres Small of joining forces with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to “shoot down our values together.” 

The ad dropped days after Torres Small released an ad touting her own hunting skills and highlighting her devotion to New Mexico’s public lands.

“Xochitl Torres Small went hunting for Nancy Pelosi’s support and they’ll shoot down our values together,” the narrator said. “Yvette Herrell a leader we can trust to protect our rights.”

Herrell’s 30-second ad, titled “Don’t Give Her a Shot,” uses some footage from Torres Small’s ad. In addition to tying Torres Small to Pelosi, the ad claims Torres Small would take away personal liberties and jobs.

“Xochitl Torres Small has our freedoms in her sights, bankrolled by liberal extremists, committed to Nancy Pelosi’s agenda,” the narrator said. “Xochitl is taking aim at our personal freedoms, our jobs and paychecks and our energy driven economy.”

In a statement, Herrell’s campaign said that if elected, Herrell will advocate for New Mexican issues, while suggesting Torres Small will be a rubber stamp for the Democratic Party. 

“No matter how hard she tries, Xochitl Torres-Small cannot pull the wool over the eyes of New Mexico,” said Rob Burgess, senior adviser to Herrell’s campaign, in a statement. “New Mexico deserves a member of Congress that not only shares their values, but will be a vocal advocate in Washington. The only values that Xochitl will advocate for are the ones that Nancy Pelosi tells her to advocate for.”

Both candidates are running for New Mexico’s Second Congressional District seat, which is open after incumbent Republican Rep. Steve Pearce declined to seek re-election so that he could run for governor.  Either Torres Small or Herrell will make history as the first female congresswoman to be elected to represent the district.

The seat is historically a Republican stronghold, and President Trump won the seat by 10 points in the 2016 presidential election. 

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates this race as a “toss up” and there are more Democrats than Republicans registered in the district, according to New Mexico’s Secretary of State Office. CBS News currently rates the seat “lean Republican.”

Herrell’s ad is similar to West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin’s shooting ad, in which he took aim at an Affordable Care Act (ACA) lawsuit signed by his Republican opponent, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. In Herrell’s ad, there are signs that read “Personal Freedoms” and “Jobs & Paychecks” with a bullet hole through the signs.  

In an interview earlier this week with CBS News, Torres Small told CBS News that hunting is a “source of what centers me,” and said that hunting is an integral part of her connection to her husband and appreciation for New Mexico’s public lands.

While Torres Small holds the fundraising advantage according to the latest FEC filing records, Herrell has received the endorsements from the National Rifle Association (NRA) and Gun Owners of America. The NRA Political Victory Fund also donated $2,000 to Herrell’s campaign, according to FEC filing records ending on June 30.

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