The Ohio Republican Party is standing behind its ad attacking a Democratic veteran candidate’s mental health, refusing to apologize for a mailer that even the contest’s Republican incumbent says went too far.
> U.S. congressional candidate Joe Helle (D), in a joint statement with Republican incumbent Steve Arndt, condemned the Ohio GOP’s negative attack ad. Helle is a veteran who suffers PTSD resulting from his service in Afghanistan. He has openly said that his mental health problem have led to anger issues in the past.
> The GOP-sponsored ad highlights the Democratic candidates mental health issues and claims, “You wouldn’t like Joe Helle when he’s angry.”
> “I agree with you, Joe,” Arndt explained in a video released on Wednesday. “Those kinds of attack ads, there’s no call for it.”
Arndt has asked the Ohio Republican Party to cease the attack ads on Helle, but GOP officials are steadfast in their belief that it “educates” voters.
> Ohio GOP spokesperson Blaine Kelly told the Sandusky Register that the party would not “pull any punches.”
> “Joe Helle clearly has an anger problem,” Kelly said. “We’re going to educate voters. We’re not going to pull our punches.”
Watch the candidates’ statement below: