IA-02: Schilling Undergoes Surgery, But Ads Will Remain Up

Terry Schilling, the son of 2nd District congressional candidate Bobby Schilling, took to Facebook Thursday night to provide an update on his father’s campaign in light of news this week he underwent surgery due to a recent cancer diagnosis.

While Bobby Schilling is recovering, Terry Schilling will be the face of the campaign. In a press release Wednesday night announcing the diagnosis, Bobby Schilling said he intends to return to the campaign trail “in very short order.”

In the meantime, Terry Schilling challenged fellow Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks to take down the new television ad she is running against Bobby Schilling.

“It’s really tough seeing negative campaign ads that are dishonest and attacking my dad when he’s in such a weakened state,” Terry Schilling said. “He can’t even answer back. He’s recovering and there’s campaign ads on television right now attacking him and maligning him.”

Though Schilling’s ads are not on TV, Terry Schilling said the campaign would take down negative posts and videos they have made criticizing Miller-Meeks.

“We’re going to run a positive campaign,” Terry Schilling said. “Run all the ads you want. Run all the ads you want on television and anywhere, but tell your story, stick to being positive. Tell people why they should vote for you, not why they should vote against my dad.”

When the Iowa City Press-Citizen reached out last night to Miller-Meeks’ team about Schilling’s challenge to take down the ad, a spokesperson said Bobby Schilling’s campaign “has been badly underfunded throughout the primary and, frankly, I am unaware that it has either the plans or ability to air any television ads during the primary, let alone the capacity to challenge Rita Hart in the general election.”

Shortly after the statement was made public, Terry Schilling fired back on Twitter: “Game on,” he said.

A post Thursday night on Bobby Schilling’s Facebook page said: “The Mariannette Miller-Meeks Campaign has responded to our call for running positive campaigns the rest of the way while Bobby recovers from his surgery. Wow. This really speaks for itself.”

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As of Friday afternoon, videos on his campaign’s Facebook page criticizing Miller-Meeks on abortion, gun rights and other issues are still visible, suggesting the campaign will not remove its negative posts in light of the statement from Miller-Meeks’ spokesperson.

The TV ad in question, launched Wednesday across Southeast Iowa, knocks Bobby Schilling for his time as a congressman from Illinois, accusing him of not supporting President Trump.

“He likes to complain that it’s negative for anyone to use his very own words to show Iowans that he’s just a double-talking Illinois politician trying to resurrect his failed career by crossing the Mississippi River,” said Austin Harris, Miller-Meeks’ campaign manager. “I’d refer him to two famous Harry Truman quotes, ‘We’re not giving hell, we’re just telling the truth and he thinks it’s hell’ and ‘If he can’t stand the heat, he should get out of the kitchen.'”

Bobby Schilling served Illinois’ 17th Congressional District in west-central Illinois from 2011 to 2013.

Though there are five Republicans vying for the 2nd District nomination, Bobby Schilling and Miller-Meeks are seen as the two frontrunners and have been at battling each other from the get-go.

Miller-Meeks accuses Schilling of coming to Iowa to run for office after he was ousted in Illinois, while Schilling zeroes in on past comments she has made on abortion.


By Elizabeth Meyer
Posted 5/22/20

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