Scott Brown's sister tells of childhood abuse in new ad

New Hampshire Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown features his sister in his newest ad, an emotional spot in which she tells viewers about Brown’s support through their childhood hardships.

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In the ad, shared first with The Hill, Brown’s younger sister, LeeAnn Riley, tells of the trials the two experienced when they were growing up.

“There was physical abuse in the home. But Scott was there to protect me and my mom,” she says. 

Brown chronicled his troubled youth in his memoir, Against All Odds, and occasionally refers to it on the campaign trail. In the book, Brown writes of moving 17 times and living in 12 different houses by the time he was 18, living off of welfare and enduring physical abuse at the hands of his stepfathers.

Riley, who lives in Portsmouth, N.H., says in the ad that “nobody should have to grow up like that, but it made Scott who he is today. He’s determined to do the right thing.”

“When people ask me what kind of man he is, I tell them he’ll be there for you, like he has been for me,” she concludes.

The ad starts running Thursday on WMUR, WBIN and New Hampshire cable.

Brown is the GOP front-runner to take on Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) this fall in a race Republicans believe is winnable because of opposition to ObamaCare and dissatisfaction with President Obama in the state. 

But the new ad is the latest indication Brown believes he still has some work to do in building goodwill with New Hampshire voters. 

The former Massachusetts senator has faced carpetbagging charges from critics and attack ads from Democratic groups hitting him on his record on the environment, some launched even prior to his entry in the race.

One of Brown's major assets during his Massachusetts campaigns was his folksy, everyman appeal and easygoing campaigning style. But polling has indicated those attacks have taken a toll on Brown's popularity, as he's underwater with voters and consistently lags Shaheen by solid margins.

To mitigate that damage, he's worked to play up his New Hampshire ties on the campaign trail.

Brown's first ad featured the candidate driving around New Hampshire in his iconic pickup truck, an emblem of that everyman appeal, and the new ad is yet another effort to emphasize his ties to the state and his compelling personal narrative.

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