Campaign commercial causing controversy

Published: Apr. 7, 2017 at 10:16 PM CDT
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Campaigns for all three candidates are ramping things up, and that's evident with all of the political advertising people are seeing. But it's an ad for Republican candidate Ron Estes that has many people talking tonight, and Democrat James Thompson wants it withdrawn.

"James Thompson supports abortion even if the parents don't like the gender of their baby," the ad claims. "James Thompson...too extreme for Kansas."

The ad was paid for by the National Republican Congressional Committee, a political action group.

"They're blatantly false. I've never said anything like that, and Mr. Estes should be ashamed of himself." said James Thompson, the target of the advertisement.

The ad goes on saying, "Ron Estes defends the culture of life..." but Estes had nothing to do with the ad. Because it's a PAC ad, paid for by a third party, he says his campaign had no control over the content.

"With all the outside groups that come in for candidates on all these races, you end up not knowing what they're gonna run before they run you end up seeing all sorts of strange things that come up and you don't really have any control over it." Estes said.

He says he hadn't seen the ad until we showed it to him Friday, but we wanted to know if he stands by the claims made by the NRCC.

"I don't know if there's anything in there that's not true...I assume it is true, that they found their references."

But no matter who is in control of the ad, Thompson says he wants it withdrawn. "Mr. Estes owns that... and he needs to come out and say exactly what I just said, that it's disguting and false and misleading, and he needs to ask that it be withdrawn himself."

We reached out to the NRCC for comment, they say the information comes from a Facebook video posted back in February to the South Sedgwick County Democrat Club page.

In the video we found no evidence that Thompson specifically said he supports abortions if parents don't like the gender of their child. He did say women have the right to choose, and he would not support any bills that would impede that right.

The full video can be found

Eyewitness News was notified Friday by the Thompson campaign about its concerns about the ad.

“We have asked the agency that placed the ad for the NRCC to respond to the Thompson campaign’s concerns," said Rob Folliard, Gray Television VP/Deputy General Counsel in a statement.