The use of an inflammatory TV ad in the special election for House District 82 is drawing criticism from LGBTQ advocacy groups in Iowa. As Starting Line reported earlier today, candidate Travis Harris and the Republican Party of Iowa are running ads in the Ottumwa media market that attack Democrat Phil Miller over his votes on a transgender bathroom policy. It’s particularly upsetting to some local residents considering a recent tragedy of a transgender teen taking his own life in mid-June.
One Iowa Action, the Iowa LGBTQ advocacy group, put out a statement this afternoon condemning the Republican ad and calling for the party to take it off the air.
“The fear-mongering tactics used in this ad campaign are not just unacceptable, but dangerous as well,” said One Iowa executive director Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel. “The ad relies on harmful and untrue stereotypes about the transgender community, targeting young students in particular, and scapegoats them for political gain.”
“By creating and publicizing this ad, Harris for Iowa and the Republican Party of Iowa are recklessly fueling rhetoric that contributes to harassment and violence that transgender people face,” he continued. “This malicious ad should be pulled from the airwaves immediately, and Harris for Iowa and the Republican Party of Iowa should publicly apologize for their blatant disregard of transgender Iowans’ lives and safety.”
The special election to fill Curt Hansen’s seat is this upcoming Tuesday, August 8. Democrats are making a big push this weekend to collect absentee ballots from supportive voters.
by Pat Rynard