LEE COUNTY, Fla.- State Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto is responding through a spokesman, to an attack ad against her. The TV spot accuses her of misleading voters by getting money for state senate re-election, while really planning to run for Congress.
"Typical politician, talking out of both sides of her mouth," says the announcer in the TV ad.
The ad has been running on WINK-TV in recent days, although the ad buy ended on Wednesday the 22nd.
The ad, sponsored by the political action committee, Values are Vital, urges viewers to call Benacquisto's office and ask her to come clearn about the claims of a congressional run.
Her political spokesman, Brian Hughes, sent an e-mail to WINK News, saying the Republican senator has been committed to running for re-election to the state senate, and is not deceiving anyone. She has not spoken about a run for the seat of Cong. Trey Radel, who pleaded guilty to cocaine possession. Hughes says Republicans have talked with her about running afor the Radel seat, but officially, she is only a candidate for state senate, where she is the Majority Leader.
The Republican Party of Fl. became so angry about the ad, it had its law firm in Tallahassee, send a letter to WINK. The letter says the station must stop airing the ad, otherwise the firm may pursue legal action. The letter says the ad is false. WINK says the ad is not scheduled to run after the 22nd. The state republican party refuses to comment further, referring WINK to the letter from the law firm.
Radel has not said whether he will run for re-election. The best-known Republican candidate who has announced for the seat is Paige Kreegel. His campaign aide tells WINK: they do not control the PAC and have no influence on when or where the spot is aired.