In one of Ms. Spanberger’s television ads, a Republican police chief endorsed her while criticizing her opponent, Yesli Vega, for “defending” rioters who attacked the Capitol. Ms. Vega, an auxiliary deputy with the Prince William County Sheriff’s Office, called the rioters “a group of Americans exercising their First Amendment rights.”
In Pennsylvania, the Fetterman campaign said it had put out 16 ads mentioning crime or public safety, including at least one featuring the sheriff of suburban Montgomery County, who vouched for Mr. Fetterman.
This week, a Monmouth University poll showed that voters trusted both Mr. Fetterman and Mehmet Oz, his Republican rival, equally when it came to handling crime. The poll also noted that Mr. Fetterman’s edge on the issue had evaporated. Mr. Fetterman has defended himself primarily by pointing to his tenure as the mayor of Braddock, outside Pittsburgh, where for five years a scourge of murders came to a stop.
The issue has also played a prominent role in other Senate races, including in Wisconsin and, to some degree, North Carolina.
Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes in Wisconsin and Cheri Beasley in North Carolina, the first Black woman to serve as chief justice of the State Supreme Court, have also showcased supporters with law enforcement backgrounds in their campaigns.
In Wisconsin, mail advertising from Republicans has darkened Mr. Barnes’s skin, one stark example of the ways attacks on crime can propel issues of race to the forefront.
Representative Mark Pocan, Democrat of Wisconsin, said: “Clearly, the message was not just one of crime. It was one of racism.” And, like other Democrats, he alluded to the Capitol riot.
“They claim to back the blue, and in reality, they’re backing the coup,” he said. “You can’t pretend to support law enforcement, but then selectively decide which law enforcement that you’re going to protect.”
Jon Hurdle contributed reporting from Harrisburg, Pa.
Source: NY Times