Texas Incumbent Wants Anti-Rival Ads Nixed

A Texas congressman on Saturday asked the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to stop running a negative television ad about his Republican opponent.

Democratic Rep. Max Sandlin (search), who did not approve or pay for the ad, said the commercial incorrectly criticizes the sentencing practices of his opponent, Louie Gohmert (search), a judge.

The ad characterizes as soft a 75-year murder sentence in a plea agreement Gohmert approved. But Sandlin, a former judge himself, said the sentence was tough enough.

"The ads simply don't pass my mother's truth test and if they don't pass my mother's truth test, they don't pass the test with me," Sandlin said.

Greg Speed, a spokesman for the DCCC, said the committee stands behind the accuracy of the ad, but would have it pulled in deference to Sandlin.

"Gohmert didn't hold out for a tougher sentence and the perpetrator of cold-blooded murder could be eligible to walk the streets sooner — even before the age of 50," Speed said.

The ad began running Friday in the Shreveport, La., television market, which stretches into the eastern part of Sandlin's 1st Congressional District.

Keats Norfleet, a spokesman for the Gohmert campaign, said Sandlin's move rang hollow because he has given thousands of dollars to past DCCC efforts.

"For him to now distance himself from a negative campaign that he initiated is simply political posturing," Norfleet said.

Sandlin is one of several incumbent Democrats in Texas who are campaigning in significantly more conservative districts this year because of Republican redistricting.