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Gillespie Turns to 'Redskins' Controvery for Campaign Boost

Virginia Republican Senate hopeful Ed Gillespie speaks during a town hall forum in Reston, Va, Monday, Sept 8. 2014. Gillespie and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va. made their pitches to northern Virginia's tech community at the town hall forum. The Northern Virginia Technology Council is hosting a town hall forum Monday morning in Reston. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)
Virginia Republican Senate hopeful Ed Gillespie speaks during a town hall forum in Reston, Va, Monday, Sept 8. 2014. Gillespie and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va. made their pitches to northern Virginia's tech community at the town hall forum. The Northern Virginia Technology Council is hosting a town hall forum Monday morning in Reston. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)Luis M. Alvarez / AP

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Trailing in the polls with time running out, Republican Ed Gillespie is reaching out to Virginia football fans with an ad attacking Democratic efforts to change the name of the Washington Redskins.

In an ad that aired during Monday night’s Redskins game against the Dallas Cowboys, Gillespie knocked Democratic Sen. Mark Warner for not fighting “the anti-Redskins bill.”

“Mark Warner refused to answer if he supports the bill or not. Why won’t Warner fight the anti-Redskins bill? Why won’t he answer the question?” a narrator says before Gillespie appears on camera to declare his opposition to the legislation.

Some Democrats in Congress have voiced support for certain Native American groups who say the Redskins name is derogatory and offensive. They have proposed a bill that would revoke the NFL’s tax-exempt status if it continues to promote the name.

Warner has said he does not believe the government should play a role in making the team change its name.

Most polls show Warner with a double-digit lead over the former head of the Republican National Committee.

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-- Andrew Rafferty

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