HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - A senate candidate is facing criticism after sending out a controversial campaign advertisement.

Wednesday, faith leaders from all denominations came together to denounce it.

"I think we need to say no again in the strongest terms possible to anti-Semitism and racism here in Connecticut," they said during a news conference on Wednesday morning.

The battle for the state's 9th district senate seat between Democrat Matt Lesser and Republican Ed Charamut has been contentious.

"There is no question to what this mailer is or what it represents," Lesser said on Wednesday.

But now, some said Charamut went too far.

His campaign sent out the mailer that grabbed national attention.

It showed Lesser with cash in his hands and a crazed look on his face.

The ad is being denounced by some as anti-Semitic.

Lesser, who is Jewish, said he was shocked to see it and called it deeply upsetting.

"You can not condemn the mailer and not condemn the candidate who approved that mailer," said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.

Charamut said it wasn't meant to be hateful, but to draw a contrast between the fiscal conservatism of both candidates.

Meanwhile, the Anti-Defamation League, The Republican Party Chairman and many Democrats condemned the flyer.

Quinnipiac Prof. Anat Biletzskiy said it feeds into old stereotypes.

"It’s harmful because you are mudslinging because you are putting down certain groups and saying they’re the bad guys," Biletzskiy said. "You don’t do that in any sort of decent society."

Some feel Charamut should resign.

Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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