Wicker commercial stirs up race 19 days before election

By Jon Kalahar - email

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - The mudslinging that has marked the U.S. Senate race between Roger Wicker and Ronnie Musgrove doesn't appear to be letting up as election day nears.

A new campaign commercial airing across the state accuses Musgrove of accepting campaign contributions from ultra liberal groups through the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. The DSCC has raised money to run commercials in senate races across the country, including Mississippi.

"Whether it's directly or indirectly, Ronnie Musgrove has been happy to defend their commercials," said Wicker campaign spokesperson Ryan Annison.

And records from the Federal Election Commission show the Musgrove campaign has accepted more than $100,000 from the DSCC, but no gay rights or pro-choice groups are named specifically.

"I've been pro-life my entire political career. When I go to Washington, I'll continue to be pro-life," said Musgrove.

At a "know the candidates" event at Hinds Community College, reaction to the commercial was split.

"I think it's a little disappointing that our politicians are focusing more on each other's mistakes than their own ability to lead," said student Matt Matranga.

"I'm kind of for it because it allows for the people to see things we probably wouldn't know about," said student Marquissa Anderson.

Still, Musgrove calls the ad more of the same old Washington politics.

"Roger Wicker has learned the old adage, if you tell a lie long enough, people will believe it. And I will not stand by and allow him to tell something that is completely untrue," said Musgrove.

The Wicker campaign wants him to prove it.

Annison asked, "If he's so conservative, why are these liberal groups supporting him in the first place?"

The National Republican Senatorial Campaign has also run commercials on Roger Wicker's behalf against Ronnie Musgrove. But a check of Wicker's campaign records shows they have not contributed to his campaign as the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has done in Musgrove's.