Baldwin spotlights mother’s drug addiction, efforts to combat opioid abuse in ad

Baldwin spotlights mother’s drug addiction, efforts to combat opioid abuse in ad
© Keren Carrion

Sen. Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinIt's time for Congress to establish a national mental health crisis number The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Better Medicare Alliance - Dems unveil impeachment measure; Vindman splits GOP The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Better Medicare Alliance - Dems shift strategy on impeachment vote MORE (D-Wis.) has launched a new campaign ad in which she opens up about her mother’s life-long struggle with drug addiction and touts her own efforts to combat the nation's opioid epidemic.

Baldwin, who faces a tough reelection race in November, uses the 60-second spot to recall times during her childhood when she would come home from school and “pound” on the door, saying her mother wouldn’t answer because she’d be “passed out.”

“My mother had a drug abuse problem. She struggled with addiction to prescription drugs her whole life,” Baldwin says in the ad. “I had to grow up fast, very fast.”

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“So when I see the opioid crisis that’s wrecking so many Wisconsin families. All I can tell you is I’ve been there. I know how hard this fight is. I know the stigma that comes with drug abuse and mental illness.

Baldwin noted that 15 people a week overdose in Wisconsin as states across the country grapple with opioid abuse. She also touted bipartisan efforts to get funding to combat the ongoing crisis.

The spot is part of an ad buy that includes TV and digital components running in the Milwaukee, Green Bay, Wausau, Eau Claire and La Crosse media markets.

Baldwin is one of 10 Senate Democrats up for reelection in a state that President TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE won in 2016. He won Wisconsin, which traditionally goes blue in presidential races, by a less than 1 point.

The Democratic senator has been faced with a deluge of attack ads from Republican outside groups. To counter those efforts, Democratic groups have gone up with their own ads defending Baldwin.

According to the website OpenSecrets.org, outside groups have so far spent more than $10 million on the Wisconsin Senate race. Of that total, about $4.1 million has been spent to either support or oppose Baldwin.

Republicans are locked in a competitive primary to take on Baldwin. The leading contenders — Marine Corps veteran and businessman Kevin Nicholson and state Sen. Leah Vukmir (R) — will face off in the state's Aug. 14 primary.