Senate Republicans have released their first attack ad against Sen. Gary Peters as the GOP tries to oust the vulnerable Democrat.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) unveiled its ad against Peters on Monday, hitting the Michigan senator over his investments and personal finances. The ad strings together images of manufacturing workers and military members before cutting to Peters and accuses him of profiting at the expense of U.S. workers.
“Attention: if you or someone in your family worked in a Michigan manufacturing facility, or you prefer to buy ‘American made,’ then this unfortunate message is for you,” the ad says. “Sen. Gary Peters and his family invested in companies that outsourced nearly 1,000 Michigan jobs to foreign countries, jobs that may be gone forever. But there is some good news, if you’re Gary Peters. Peters personal financial wealth has doubled since getting elected. How nice … for him.”
📺 🚨 NEW NRSC ad in Michigan senate race 🚨 📺
Attention Michigan Workers:
While investing in outsourcers, Democrat Senator Gary Peters' net wealth has more than doubled since taking office. #MIsen
— Nathan Brand (@NathanBrandWA) June 1, 2020
Peters’ office did not respond to a request for comment.
Peters invests in a wide variety of companies in sectors such as insurance, communications, and transportation. He holds stock in dozens of companies that operate in Michigan including AT&T, McDonald’s, and Humana, according to reports on Open Secrets. It is unclear whether he or an independent third party controls his investments.
Late last month, The Washington Free Beacon uncovered that Peters, who had an estimated net worth of over $4 million in 2018, has been accepting payments of $50,000 a year from the Michigan state pension fund, earned after serving eight years in the Michigan state legislature. At the same time, Peters and other Democrats have pushed for a federal bailout of the system while hundreds of thousands of Michigan workers lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic. The annual payment from the pension fund alone is nearly equal Michigan’s median income.
Peters is running for reelection against Republican challenger John James. James lost his initial bid for Senate against Democratic incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow in 2018, but his campaign won him national attention and ample favor among party officials and influential conservatives in Michigan and across the country.
On May 14, National Review published a profile of James titled “John James, the Michigan GOP’s Rising Star.”
Michigan Republicans see James’ candidacy as a chance to send a member of the GOP to the U.S. Senate for the first time in a quarter century. In Washington, James’ candidacy could prove key to holding Michigan for President Donald Trump against former Vice President Joe Biden, as well as fending off a Democratic effort to flip the Senate.
James’ campaign has built an impressive fundraising machine with plenty of support, pushing him to outraise the incumbent Peters for three quarters in a row. James’ total campaign finances still trail Peters’ by about $2.6 million, however, according to campaign finance reports from the first quarter of 2020.
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