Both political parties have featured the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol in campaign ads. But they’ve been focused primarily on other issues.
A review of campaign ads tracked by AdImpact that have aired in gubernatorial, Senate and House races revealed just a handful of ads that mention the attack, when a mob of former President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol in an effort to stop Congress from certifying Trump’s 2020 defeat.
Some Democrats have used the Jan. 6 attack to tie Republicans to the extreme wing of their party. But some Republican primary challengers have also knocked GOP incumbents who supported an independent commission to investigate the attack.
Here are a few examples of how both parties are featuring Jan. 6 in campaign ads:
Democratic Jan. 6 ads:
House Majority PAC, a super PAC aligned with Democratic leadership, launched a new TV ad ahead of next week’s special election to replace former Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela in Texas’ 34th District. The Spanish-language ad ties Republican Mayra Flores to the Jan. 6 attack, saying she “supported the conspirators and conspiracy theories that were part of the armed attack on January 6.”
In California’s 41st District, Democrat Will Rollins, a former assistant U.S. attorney, highlighted his work prosecuting Jan. 6 rioters in multiple ads, knocking GOP Rep. Ken Calvert for voting against certifying the 2020 election results.
“We all remember this image,” Rollins says in his first TV ad of the race, holding an image of people scaling the Capitol on Jan. 6, noting he helped prosecute some of the rioters. Rollins will be taking on Calvert in November, winning 35 percent of Tuesday’s primary vote so far, per NBC’s Decision Desk.
GOP Jan. 6 ads:
Former Navy Pilot Michael Cassidy this week forced GOP Rep. Michael Guest into a primary runoff in Mississippi’s 3rd District. Cassidy made Guest’s vote for an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack a key part of his primary campaign (Guest did not vote to establish the House committee currently investigating the attack).
In Cassidy’s latest ad, which aired on TV and online, per the campaign, Cassidy says this week’s primary was “your chance to say ‘no’ to the Jan. 6 commission that Guest voted for.”
West Virginia GOP Rep. David McKinley also faced criticism from fellow GOP Rep. Alex Mooney in the 2nd District primary for his vote in favor of the commission. One Mooney ad featured a narrator saying McKinley “betrayed” voters.
“David McKinley joined Nancy Pelosi voting for the Jan. 6th anti-Trump witch hunt to attack our president and our values,” the narrator said. Mooney, who had Trump’s endorsement in the race, won last months’ primary.