“F*** the NRA” are the first words spoken by Pat Davis in the 15-second TV ad that targets the National Rifle Association, a group that advocates for gun ownership rights and has come under stinging criticism in the wake of recent school shootings.
Davis, an Albuquerque city councilor who is one of six Democrats running for the 1st Congressional District seat, defended the campaign ad and said people are tired of being polite when it comes to gun safety issues.
“That’s what people are saying already — let’s acknowledge it,” Davis said in an interview. “I think the people that are going to be most offended are the pro-NRA types who aren’t going to be voting for me anyway.”
The ad is currently only running on KRQE-TV, an Albuquerque-area network station, but could be expanded to other stations in the coming days, a Davis campaign spokeswoman said. It’s also posted online.
KRQE General Manager Bill Anderson told the Journal the station is not permitted under federal law to censor or edit the campaign ad.
“A federal candidate certified to be on the ballot by the secretary of state is a bona fide candidate, and if they have opponents on the air then we are legally obligated to give them access to purchase air time on our station, and legally prohibited from censoring their commercials,” Anderson wrote in an email.
However, Anderson also said the station will run a 15-second warning before the ad airs to alert viewers about what’s to come.
In addition, Davis said the ad — and any future airings of it — will be running on weekday afternoons and during news talk shows, times when children are unlikely to be watching.
The 1st Congressional District seat is wide open this year because incumbent U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, is forgoing a re-election bid to run for governor.
Former state Democratic Party chairwoman Debra Haaland, ex-U.S. attorney for New Mexico Damon Martinez and Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, a former associate dean at the University of New Mexico law school, have outpaced Davis and the other Democrats in the field when it comes to fundraising, based on the most recently filed reports.
All six Democratic candidates including Davis, a former U.S. Capitol police officer, have expressed support for a federal ban on assault-style weapons.