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Political Ad Raises Concern In 3rd District U.S. House Race

Reported: May. 8, 2014 11:20 PM EDT
Updated: May. 9, 2014 4:50 PM EDT
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (Dan Matics) -- The dramatic music and voice-over of a political attack ad is all too familiar for voter Jill Cochran.

"I'll be happy when it will all be over," Cochran said.

The particular ad in question targets Republican congressional candidate and state Sen. Evan Jenkins.

The House Majority PAC produced the ad and attempts to tie Jenkins financially to Massey Energy and former CEO Don Blankenship.

The ad states, "(Jenkins) collected thousands of dollars from lawyers who collected black lung benefits and from executives at Massey Energy, where 29 died at Upper Big Branch."

Andy Seré, Jenkins' spokesman, said the ad casts a stone while the PAC lives in a glass house.

"It's ludicrous," Seré said. "I think West Virginians are going to see through the hypocrisy here."

Financial disclosure documents show Jenkins' opponent, Nick Rahall, held assets in Massey in the form of corporate bonds he sold April 6, 2010, the day after the Upper Big Branch explosion.

In a statement, Allan Crow, Rahall's spokesman, was quick to distance itself from House Majority PAC, the ad's producer.

"Congressman Rahall's disagreements with Massey Energy and its former owner Don Blankenship over their mine safety failings are well-known, as are his efforts to hold them accountable for the Upper Big Branch tragedy," Crow said.

Meanwhile, the political bickering has put a bad taste in Cochran's mouth.

"I don't think anyone should be making political hay out of anyone's death," Cochran said.

Eyewitness News reached out to the House Majority PAC, but it has yet to comment.



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