updated 10/4/2006 4:07:30 PM ET 2006-10-04T20:07:30

Rep. Don Sherwood, a Republican fighting for re-election in northeastern Pennsylvania, says in a TV ad that he is “truly sorry” for cheating on his wife but denies ever abusing the woman he had the affair with.

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In the ad, he acknowledges that the affair nearly cost him the love of his wife and his daughters. He said his family has worked through it “because of my deep regret, our love and the fact that the allegation of abuse was never true.”

“While I’m truly sorry for disappointing you, I never wavered from my commitment to reduce taxes, create jobs and bring home our fair share,” Sherwood said, addressing viewers. “Should you forgive me, you can count on me to keep on fighting hard for you and your family.”

Sherwood, a four-term congressman, has a seat that had been considered safe until it was revealed last year that police in 2004 investigated an incident between Sherwood and Cynthia Ore at his Washington apartment.

Charges were never filed, but Ore sued Sherwood, claiming he had choked her. Sherwood apologized for the affair but denied abusing Ore. The suit was settled for an undisclosed sum.

The ad began running Tuesday in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre market and comes days after Chris Carney, his Democratic opponent, launched a hard-hitting commercial focusing on the affair.

Carney’s ad features a voter saying, “This incident with Don Sherwood just cuts right at the core values of our district.” The phrases “repeatedly choking” and “attempting to strangle plaintiff,” taken from the lawsuit, appear on the screen.

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