Dem candidate fires back after racy photos surface

The photos, which were taken at a costume party, show Ball wearing a Santa hat and a leotard. She appears to be holding a leash attached to the neck of a man she identified this week as her ex-husband. There’s more to the photos, but ITK is refraining from providing additional details.

Ball, 29, says the photos were taken six years ago, just after she graduated from college, and she accused her opponent, Rep. Rob WittmanRob WittmanMoveOn flying banners over Republicans' offices in healthcare push The Hill's Whip List: 19 GOP no votes on new ObamaCare replacement bill Congress has best opportunity in years to reform fisheries management in federal waters MORE (R-Va.), of releasing them on the Internet as part of a smear campaign.

Wittman’s spokesman said in a statement Tuesday night that Wittman is “adamantly opposed” to the release of the photos, and that he has asked bloggers to take down the pics.

For her part, Ball acknowledges that the photos are damaging, but said on Wednesday that she is more angry than embarrassed.
The release of the photos is “sexist and it’s wrong, regardless of political party,” she said.

Ball also issued a message for “Any young woman who is thinking about running for office and has ever attended a costume party with her husband or done anything stupid on camera. Run for office ... Don’t let this sort of tactic deter you.”

She added, “I’m a wife, mother, a CPA and a small-business owner. When I stepped up to run for this seat, I knew that our politics had deteriorated to viciousness.”

Even before the photos surfaced, Wittman was a heavy favorite to retain his seat. Sen. John McCainJohn McCainOvernight Defense: Trump scolds NATO allies over spending | Flurry of leaks worries allies | Senators rip B Army 'debacle' | Lawmakers demand hearing on Saudi arms deal The case for protecting America's intelligence agency whistleblowers Overnight Cybersecurity: Senate Intel chiefs get subpoena power in Russia probe | Trump orders probe of leaks | Lawmaker unveils 'hacking back' bill MORE (R-Ariz.) won the district by 3 points in 2008, when Wittman defeated the Democrat in the race by 15 percentage points.

Wittman, Ball and Independent-Green candidate Gail Parker are scheduled to debate on Oct. 13 in Williamsburg.