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EXCLUSIVE: With Republican groups and candidates increasingly targeting Democrats over the issue of crime, Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan is showcasing her record of support for law enforcement in a new ad hitting airwaves in the key battleground state of New Hampshire.
“As law enforcement, we want what’s best for our neighbors. Maggie Hassan knows that, and she does, too,” Sheriff Jeff Stiegler of New Hampshire’s Grafton County says in the spot, which was shared first with Fox News on Tuesday. “She voted with Republicans to add a 100,000 new police officers.”
“Hassan’s done the opposite of defunding the police. In every budget as governor, Hassan increased funding for police, and it’s no different with Maggie in the Senate,” Merrimack County Sheriff David Croft says of Hassan, a former governor and first-term senator who’s been heavily targeted by Republicans as she runs for re-election this year, in a race that’s one of a handful across the country that may determine if Republicans win back the Senate majority in November’s midterm elections.
“She takes keeping New Hampshire safe seriously, Croft emphasizes near the end of the commercial, which Hassan’s campaign says will run statewide and is backed by a seven-figure ad buy.
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The release of the spot — with six weeks to go until Election Day — comes as the GOP increasingly spotlights crime, an issue that national polls indicate voters trust Republicans over Democrats. According to national ad tracking firm AdImpact, Republican campaigns and allied groups aired 53,000 commercials on crime during the first three weeks of this month.
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Hassan is being challenged by Republican Senate nominee and former Army Gen. Don Bolduc, who’s making his second straight bid for the Senate. Bolduc, who ran in this year’s GOP Senate primary as a populist and outsider candidate, narrowly won the Republican nomination two weeks ago.
Bolduc served as an officer in the Laconia, New Hampshire, Police Department before embarking on a 33-year career in the military, which included 10 tours of duty in the Afghanistan war. Last week, he was endorsed by the Police Benevolent Association of New England.
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In Hassan’s new ad, the two sheriffs also tout the senator’s push on border security, which is a leading issue in New Hampshire, even though it’s located more than 2,000 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border. The Granite State’s been hard hit by the fentanyl crisis, with plenty of the dangerous synthetic opioids entering the country from across the southern border.
“She’s for more secure borders and the resources to back it up,” Stiegler says in the spot.
And Croft notes that “Hassan voted for $8 billion in border security.”
The senator earlier this year made a well-publicized trip to the U.S.-Mexico border and vocally expressed her opposition to the move by President Biden’s administration to rescind a Trump-era pandemic restriction known as Title 42, which allowed officials to rapidly expel asylum seekers that crossed into the nation.
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And Hassan has targeted Bolduc on both border security and crime, spotlighting comments he made this summer during GOP primary debates where he voiced some support for reductions in the Department of Homeland Security and abolishing or reducing the size of the FBI.