A digital campaign advertisement paired the sole survivor of a Cheshire home invasion with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Dr. William Petit is on the Republican ticket and looking to represent Connecticut's 22nd District, which covers Plainville and New Britain.
The ad from Labor United for Connecticut that began popping up on digital platforms called for voters to "stop Donald Trump and Republican William Petit's attack on women and families."
It ended by urging people to vote on Nov. 8.
Petit's wife and two daughters were murdered by two convicted felons in 2007, both of which are in prison for the crimes. He announced his candidacy during the spring.
Trump has been on the receiving end of some sharp criticism after a number of woman came forward in recent weeks to claim he sexually assaulted them.
On Wednesday, Petit, his opponent in the district and local leaders reacted to the ad that put the two candidates together.
"I am horrified by the tasteless and offensive attack ad against my opponent," said Rep. Betty Boukus "It was produced by a third party with no connection to my campaign, without my knowledge, and without the involvement of anyone associated with my campaign. I am asking those responsible to pull the ad and issue an apology to Dr. Petit and his family."
Paul Filson, who is the treasurer for the Labor United for Connecticut, released a statement on the Facebook ad.
“While we sincerely regret if anyone has found it to be personally offensive, the Facebook post in question holds numerous Connecticut Republicans accountable for their support of Donald Trump and his policies, which independent experts have found to be harmful to women and middle class families. The post also links to a website where these dangerous policies are detailed for voters," Filson said in statement on Wednesday.
Filson said they "stand by these accountability efforts and call on Republican candidates to disown Donald Trump and his damaging policies."
"That said, the post in this particular district was set to expire today, and it will not be renewed," Filson went on to say.
Lori J. Pelletier, president of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, also issued a statement in response to the ad.
“The ads by the political action group ‘Labor United for Connecticut’ targeting Dr. William Petit are stunning and extremely distasteful," she said. "The Connecticut AFL-CIO has not contributed any money to the PAC that put together these terrible ads and we have not coordinated with them in any way. In this race, considering what Dr. Petit has gone through, I do not think this was an appropriate avenue to go down. This attack is insensitive and should be pulled immediately. While we have not endorsed any candidates in this particular state house race, we felt so strongly that the ad was repugnant that it required a response.”
Petit and Republican Rep. Themis Klarides held a news conference at 11 a.m. at Petit's home in Plainville.
"You want to talk about Donald Trump, God bless. He's running for office and he's got to argue his points but to imply that Dr. Petit has a problem with women and families is just despicable," Klarides said.
Labor United says the ad was set to expire on Wednesday and they said it will not be renewed.
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