The Rev. Mark Harris, who hopes to unseat two-term U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger in a June 7 GOP primary, is taking aim in a new radio ad at Republicans in Congress who “bow down to President Obama on every issue.”
Harris, who narrates the 60-second ad now running on stations in Charlotte and Fayetteville, never mentions Pittenger by name. But it’s clear the 9th District incumbent is his target.
Saying Republicans in Washington have caved to the Democratic president on everything from “amnesty for illegals to Obamacare,” Harris says it’s time for a “consistent conservative” like him to represent the recently redrawn district, which now stretches from south Charlotte to Bladen County.
“We need leaders who refuse to bow down, leaders who will stand strong for our beliefs,” Harris says in the ad. The pastor of First Baptist Church of Charlotte, who has never held public office, also touts his high-profile fights as a state religious leader to oppose same-sex marriage and defend HB2.
Pittenger, first elected in 2012, has pointed out that he has voted scores of times against the Affordable Care Act – also known as Obamacare. On immigration, he has called for securing America’s borders and recently told the Observer that “I don’t see a pathway to citizenship should ever be considered” for immigrants who came to the United States illegally.
Harris has argued that the GOP majorities in the House and Senate have been ineffective in stopping Obama’s agenda. Pittenger’s answer is that the House has done its job, passing 377 bills that have gone on to the Senate, where many of them have died.
Pittenger is also being challenged in the GOP primary by former Union County Commissioner Todd Johnson, who also has criticized Republicans in Congress for not keeping promises to stop Obama’s programs.
Harris’ radio ad is airing on three conservative talk stations: WBT (1110 AM) and WBCN (1660 AM) in Charlotte and WFNC (640 AM) in Fayetteville.
Pittenger aired a radio ad of his own. It mentions his “deep Christian faith” and his record as “a conservative standing up for pro-family values.” It also mentions his endorsements from national and state Right to Life groups that oppose abortion.