The daughter of a victim in the Sandy Hook shootings is taking sides in the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race, backing incumbent Republican Pat Toomey in an ad produced by a national super PAC.
The 30-second ad (above) is from Independence USA, the super PAC created by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. It features Erica Smegielski, whose mother, Dawn, was the principal of the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
“She died that day protecting the young children in her care,” Smegielski says in the ad. “When it came time to vote on background checks, Pat Toomey crossed party lines to do the right thing. That’s who he is, and I’m grateful.”
After Sandy Hook, Toomey joined Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia in an failed effort to increase background checks for gun purchases. But Democrats say Toomey’s A rating from the National Rifle Association is a better measure of his record on gun control.
Pennsylvania’s hotly contested race is one of a handful that could decide control of the Senate, so millions of dollars are pouring in from national groups to buy ads backing Toomey or his Democratic challenger, Katie McGinty.This will probably be one of the few spots that isn’t a hard-hitting attack ad.
Independence USA said it supports moderates who work in a bipartisan way on issues “including gun laws, the environment, education policy and marriage equality.”