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In new ad, Perriello attacks Hurt for missing debate

Ben Pershing

Rep. Tom Perriello (D) is looking to take advantage of his opponent's failure to appear for the first general election debate in the 5th district, accusing state Sen. Robert Hurt (R) of being unwilling to answer tough questions about his positions.

Perriello appeared last week with independent candidate Jeffrey Clark at an event in Albemarle County, with an empty chair where Hurt was supposed to be. Hurt has declined to agree to any debates at which Clark will appear, arguing that he is not a viable candidate and that Perriello is simply unwilling to face Hurt one-on-one.

In his new ad, running in the Charlottesville and Roanoke markets, Perriello uses footage from the debate and says Hurt "is afraid to explain to voters" his positions on tax breaks for companies that employ overseas workers and on job training programs. The ad also is unusual in that it is relatively rare for candidates themselves, particularly incumbents, to appear onscreen to attack their opponents.

Hurt's campaign has already issued a release calling the Perriello spot "a desperate attack ad," suggesting that the Democrat is resorting to a negative message because he is behind in the polls.

By Ben Pershing  |  August 18, 2010; 1:50 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races , Ben Pershing , Election 2010 , Robert Hurt , Tom Perriello  
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