The brother of Wisconsin Democrat Randy Bryce, who is running for the seat being vacated by House Speaker Paul Ryan, stars in a new GOP ad that calls on voters to support Bryce's GOP opponent.
In the new Congressional Leadership Fund spot, police officer James Bryce connects violence against law enforcement with "cop-hating rhetoric," before pivoting to call his brother "someone who's shown contempt for those in law enforcement."
"I don't want people want to be represented by someone who's shown contempt for those in law enforcement," James Bryce says in the spot.
"That's one of the many reasons why I'm voting for Bryan Steil for Congress."
As evidence for the claim, the ad points to a 2012 Bryce tweet where he shared a story from The Progressive magazine criticizing police officers for arresting protesters at the Wisconsin state Capitol. Along with sharing the story, Bryce added his own commentary: "When police become the terrorists."
The ad is running as part of CLF's $1.5 million ad buy, which it announced Monday. The first ad it ran in the district also dealt with law enforcement, which highlights Bryce's arrest record.
Julia Savel, Bryce's communications director, criticized the ad in a statement that pointed the finger at Ryan for the attack. CLF is allied with Ryan's political operation but cannot coordinate on spending as per campaign finance laws.
"Randy is the proud son of a police officer and has a deep respect for law enforcement officers, including his brother, even when they have political disagreements. This ad, funded by Paul Ryan and his Washington buddies, shows that Bryan Steil has no solutions for Wisconsin families — so they have to resort to divisive, dirty politics that people are fed up with," Savel said.
"Dark money being used in attack ads paid for by Paul Ryan's Super PAC is about as Washington-style as it gets. Instead of joining Paul Ryan in the gutter, Randy is focused on his plans to help everyone get good healthcare, protect workers' pensions, and save Social Security."
Bryce is running an uphill battle in the GOP-leaning district that President Trump won by about 10 points in 2016. But he's been able to put together a well-funded campaign that's emphasized his background as an iron worker and his family's struggle with health care to paint a picture of an everyman candidate.
There's been limited independent polling in the race, but a recent New York Times/Siena College poll found Steil up by 6 points.