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Vukmir lightens approach in latest Senate race ad (UPDATE)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — In an ad making use cartoonish caricatures of union construction workers, the Republican Leah Vukmir tried to lighten the mood of what has at times become an acrimonious campaign for U.S. Senate.

In Vukmir’s latest TV spot, titled “Flush,” Vukmir appears surrounded by three men portraying union officials as she’s taking groceries out of the trunk of a car. Shoving a bag full of groceries into one of the official’s hands, Vukmir brags about how she had worked with Gov. Scott Walker “to take on the big labor bosses.”

“We made these guys work for the taxpayers,” she says, “not the other way around.”

Vukmir’s statement is a reference to the so-called Act 10 legislation that Vukmir, Walker and other Republicans passed in 2011, effectively eliminating most public workers’ collective-bargaining rights.

Later in the same ad, Vukmir peers out the window of a house and sees a construction worker building a wall out of cinder blocks. She says she’ll  work with President Donald Trump to “build the wall” that Trump made it a campaign promise to have erected along the U.S. border with Mexico. Still later, Vukmir watches as a plumber tries to unclog a toilet using a plunger and promises to “drain the swamp,” a reference to Trump’s pledge to rid Washington D.C. of influence peddling and insider dealing.

The ad comes about three weeks before the primary election scheduled for Aug. 14. Vukmir will then vie for the Republican Party’s nomination with Kevin Nicholson, a management consultant and former Marine. It also comes after Vukmir’s campaign aired a decidedly darker ad showing the candidate sitting at a table with a holstered handgun, speaking about death threats she said she had received while working to pass Act 10.

Her campaign says the ad will run on broadcast and cable TV throughout the state.

Dan Shaw of The Daily Reporter contributed to this article.

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