Oregon GOP Senate candidate Monica Wehby announced her first TV ad Wednesday, building off her job as a neurosurgeon by saying, “It’s not brain surgery. ObamaCare is bad for Oregon.”

ObamaCare has figured prominently in the Republican primary: Wehby has criticized her opponent, state representative Jason Conger, for voting to set up a state-run insurance exchange under the law.


Conger says he opposes the law but thought a state-run exchange was better than a federally run one.

“As a pediatric neurosurgeon I know first hand how devastating ObamaCare is for Oregon families and patients,” Wehby says in the ad, amid interspersed shots of her in a doctor’s coat. “It’s why I’m the only candidate for Senate who has fought to stop it.”

An April 4 poll from Harper Polling, a Republican firm, set off some speculation that incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley could be vulnerable. The poll found his approval rating was just 41 percent, and a generic Democratic candidate led by just 3 points.

Still, the race is seen as a long shot for Republicans. A Republican has not won a state-wide race since 2002. The Harper poll gave Merkley a 7-point lead over Conger and a 12-point lead over Wehby.

Wehby’s campaign says her ad will run through the primary, on May 20.