Republican Candidate For Lieutenant Governor ​Launches TV Ad Featuring Terrorists

May 3, 2017


The Republican primary for lieutenant governor is heating up, and one candidate is hitting the airwaves with a commercial aimed at frightening voters. 

The commercial opens up on an idyllic note. Children are playing with a soccer ball when suddenly the mood changes. Threatening music comes under as terrorists in camouflage and masks swarm out of the house across the street and into a minivan.

“This is the America Obama left behind," says Virginia Senator Bryce Reeves. “I helped pass anti-terrorism legislation here in Virginia.”

That would be Senate Bill 1154, which Governor McAuliffe signed into law in March. The law creates a new penalty for any person found guilty of “knowingly providing material support to terrorists.” 

It had no opposition in the House or Senate. But Virginia legal expert Rich Kelsey says it’s designed more for political gain than punishing terrorists.

“This become a tack on, an add on, a feel good. It assumes that the state of Virginia is then going to extradite this individual after the feds try them, bring them back to Virginia and then try them for either a Class 3 or a Class 2 felony,” says Kelsey. 

Reeves is in a hotly contested primary for lieutenant governor against state Senator Jill Vogel and Delegate Glenn Davis.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from theVirginia Education Association.