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Alaska GOP senator’s ad against Jewish challenger criticized as anti-Semitic

Al Gross slams Dan Sullivan’s ‘disgusting’ campaign spot, which portrays him surrounded by $100 bills with a graphic of Chuck Schumer in the background

Independent candidate Al Gross (Gross for Senate Campaign via AP)
Independent candidate Al Gross (Gross for Senate Campaign via AP)

A new campaign ad in the US Senate race in Alaska has drawn accusations of anti-Semitism for its depiction of a Jewish candidate.

The ad by Republic Senator Dan Sullivan’s campaign portrays his rival Al Gross clutching $100 bills, with stacks of greenbacks in the foreground.

Behind Gross is a graphic of Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who is also Jewish.

“Lower 48 liberals are flooding Alaska with millions,” the text on ad says, referring to the states in the contiguous United States.

Gross, an independent with Democratic support, called the ad “disgusting” and said it should be taken down.

“This ad has disgusting anti-Semitic tropes but it’s what we should expect from a candidate who has hidden how his family does business with communist China and has voted time and again to benefit their bottom line,” he tweeted.

The ad was also criticized by Israeli Opposition Leader Yair Lapid.

“As Israel’s Leader of the Opposition and the son of a Holocaust survivor I have to express my anger at this antisemitic advert against the Jewish candidate for Senate in Alaska, Dr. Al Gross,” Lapid, who heads the Yesh Atid party, wrote on Twitter.

He added: “It is a disgrace and a stain on the American democracy we all admire so much.”

Republican Senator Dan Sullivan of Alaska testifies during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 7, 2020. (Al Drago/Pool via AP)

There was no immediate response from Sullivan.

Gross, a doctor, is hoping to win in a state that has long been a GOP stronghold, outraising Sullivan and putting Republicans on the defensive. Across the country, Republicans are nervous about Senate seats like Sullivan’s they once thought safe as Democrats hoping to retake the chamber try to tap into the party’s enthusiasm for ousting US President Donald Trump.

The Alaska Senate race is rated lean-Republican by Real Clear Politics and the Cook Political Report.

Earlier this year, the campaign of US Senator David Perdue, a Georgia Republican, was forced to take down an ad in which the nose of Jewish rival Jon Ossoff was manipulated to appear larger.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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