Campaign

Voting rights group rolls out six-figure ad buy calling Majewski a ‘dangerous liar’

Associated Press/Tom E. Puskar
J.R. Majewski, Republican candidate for U.S. Representative for Ohio’s 9th Congressional District, takes the stage at a campaign rally in Youngstown, Ohio., Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022.

Voting rights group Public Wise is rolling out a six-figure ad buy on Wednesday calling Republican Ohio House candidate J.R. Majewski a “dangerous liar.”

Majewski — a controversial candidate who has come under criticism for his presence at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and questions regarding his military record — is challenging Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) in the Buckeye State’s 9th Congressional District.

“Meet J.R. Majewski. He’s affiliated with an alt-right conspiracy group. He doesn’t believe in the United States. He participated in a violent attempt to overturn our democratic election. He even spreads lies about his military service,” the 30-second ad says.

“This dangerous liar is running for Congress. Keep J.R. Majewski out of office. Vote for Marcy Kaptur on Nov. 8,” it adds.

The ad, which was first reported by The Hill, is running in Ohio’s 9th District beginning Wednesday through Election Day. The buy cost nearly $200,000.

Majewski, an Air Force veteran, has been a controversial figure throughout the campaign, coming under the microscope for his ties to the QAnon conspiracy theory and appearance at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

The left-leaning outlet Media Matters for America reported in March of last year that Majewski was affiliated with QAnon, referencing social media posts with photos and hashtags that are associated with the conspiracy theory.

The candidate has since tried to distance himself from the movement, but he has recognized his association with its followers.

More recently, Majewski came under fire after The Associated Press obtained records that appeared to contradict previous comments about his service in the Air Force, which he has touted throughout the campaign.

The AP last month reported that, according to military records, Majewski was demoted after being caught driving drunk on an American air base in Japan in September 2001. The candidate had said he was punished after being involved in a “brawl” in 2001 at an Air Force dormitory.

Majewski in a statement admitted that he was penalized after being stopped for drunk driving, but did not say why he initially mischaracterized the cause of his punishment, according to the AP.

Additionally, the AP reported Majewski did not deploy to Afghanistan, despite the candidate claiming that he served a tour amid “tough” conditions in the country. The Ohio Republican actually served six months in Qatar where he assisted with loading and unloading aircraft.

During a news conference, Majewski asserted that he did serve in Afghanistan, but refused to divulge details because he said they were “classified.”

In late September, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report shifted the race from a “toss-up” to “lean Democrat” in light of the AP’s report.

“Prior to the story, Democrats had been casting Majewski as an unhinged QAnon enthusiast who took part in a mob that attacked police. But it was far from clear those attacks would disqualify him in a GOP-redrawn seat that voted for Donald Trump by three points in 2020,” editor Dave Wasserman wrote.

“Allegations of stolen valor, however, are another story — they’re likelier to turn off independent voters who have moved on from January 6,” he added.

In September, after the first of two damning AP reports, the National Republican Congressional Committee pulled nearly $1 million in ad reservations in the district, according to multiple outlets.

Kaptur, who has served in the House since 1983, is favored to win the Ohio race over Majewski, according to FiveThirtyEight, 78 percent to 22 percent.

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