The Democrat locked in a tough battle against Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb) is demanding that the incumbent retract an ad that evokes street violence and the specter of foreign terrorism.

Terry’s new ad against state Sen. Brad Ashford (D) laments “killings on our streets” and “beheadings abroad,” as silhouettes of crime tape and a person holding an automatic weapon wearing what seems to be a head or face scarf appear on the screen, while charging that Ashford is soft on crime.


“We expect our politicians to protect us, but Brad Ashford keeps fighting for a good time law that frees violent criminals,’’ the ad says. “If Brad Ashford won’t protect us from the bad guys here, how can we ever expect him to protect us from the bad guys over there?’’

The accusation references the state's “good time” law, which automatically reduces prisoners’ sentences for good behavior. 

Ashford punched back by stating that Terry voted against a bill that sought to authorize training and arming moderate Syrians to fight ISIS.

“Congressman Terry should be ashamed that he’s running an ad blaming me for beheadings abroad, when he voted against a bill intended to fight ISIS, and then went on vacation to campaign for his reelection days later without offering any alternative solution,” he said. “Nebraskans are right to question Congressman Terry’s fitness for office, when he votes against taking action against ISIS and then tries to play on people’s fears about beheadings.”

Terry’s campaign has repeatedly hit Ashford for not moving to toughen the law after Nikko Jenkins, a prisoner who received an early release under the law, killed four people in 2013.

The new ad comes just as the National Republican Congressional Committee released a Willy Horton-style ad that links Ashford to Nikko Jenkins.