This story was updated on May 17 to include comment from the Tamara Harris campaign.
The first attack ad in the race for the Democratic nomination in the 11th congressional district is coming soon.
The Tamara Harris campaign will soon air a television ad, titled “Nothing,” attacking Democratic front-runner Mikie Sherrill over donations totaling close to $20,000 that the latter received from individuals employed at the law firm that handled the bankruptcy of floundering toy giant Toys “R” Us.
Individuals from Kirkland and Ellis donated $18,520 to Sherrill’s campaign.
The ad says that Congress is beholden to special interests and portrays Sherrill, a former federal prosecutor, as an agent of the status quo by attempting to link her to the toy giant’s bankruptcy, which is expected to cost more than 30,000 jobs by the time the company finally shutters doors at roughly half of its 1,600 stores.
It also mentions the $8.2 million in bonuses a handful of company executives received in the wake of the bankruptcy.
Made aware of the ad, Sherrill campaign manager Mollie Binotto did not respond to a request seeking comment.
The ad then goes on to promise that Harris will not take any money from corporate political action committees.
It’s not clear when, where or for how long the spot will air, as Harris’s campaign did not respond with timely comment, apparently surprised that news of the advertisement had spread ahead of schedule.
The advertisement appears to be the first sign of a souring in the tone of a campaign as the June 5 primaries approach. While it’s still a far cry from the mudslinging between Republican candidates in the fifth congressional district, the spot could provide insight into a shift in the race in its closing weeks.
“I am deeply concerned that Mikie Sherrill has collected such a substantial hoard of campaign cash from members of a firm that worked to ensure that corporate executives continued to be enriched during the demise of 30,000 Toys “R” Us jobs. This is just another example of the chain of priorities that occur when corporate special interests are not aligned with protecting working and middle class families. Thousands of New Jersey residents were mercilessly let go without even the benefit of severance,” said Harris. “The Sherrill campaign should admit that benefiting from such an enormous campaign contribution from the very lawyers reaping millions from the Toys “R” Us bankruptcy debacle is a betrayal of New Jersey voters. I believe the only choice is to return the contributions from the 20 donors and refuse to take any money from those entities who stand to profit from the Toys “R” Us bankruptcy and refuse all similar contributions in the future.”
Editor’s Note: The New Jersey Globe first contacted the Harris campaign at 12:14 PM; the Sherrill campaign was first contacted at 2:02 PM.