Republican PAC slams Dem House candidate on sexual harassment allegations

The Congressional Leadership Fund, a Republican super PAC, released an ad Thursday against California Democratic House candidate Gil Cisneros citing sexual harassment allegations against him.

The 34-second ad details a claim made by Melissa Fazli, a Democratic state assembly candidate, that Cisneros invited himself to her hotel room and “demanded sex in exchange for supporting her campaign.” 

“It’s wrong. It’s disgusting. Gil Cisneros, have you no shame?” the ad said.

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Cisneros denied the claims in May shortly after they came out. He accused a primary opponent at the time of pushing the “falsehood.” 

“Every news publication that has researched this allegation has found that Ms. Fazli’s story does not add up, and subsequently chose not to write about it,” the campaign said in a statement at the time

A spokeswoman for the Cisneros campaign called the sexual harassment allegation "patently false" on Thursday.

“While Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanJuan Williams: GOP in a panic over Mueller House Republicans dismissive of Paul Ryan's take on Trump Amash's critics miss the fact that partisanship is the enemy of compromise MORE and Washington Republicans refuse to hold the Trump administration accountable, they have no problem using their special interest and dark money connections to politicize a patently false allegation,” said Daphne Sigala, a spokeswoman for the Cisneros campaign, in a statement to The Hill.

“This is politics at its worst and dangerously undermines the MeToo movement and the survivors who step forward with legitimate accusations," she added. "There are multiple eyewitnesses, including an Emmy award-winning Fox News television journalist, and photos of Cisneros’s whereabouts that contradict this allegation."

CLF is a Republican super PAC aimed at keeping the GOP majority in the House of Representatives.

Cisneros, a philanthropist and education advocate, is running in California’s 39th Congressional District to replace retiring Rep. Ed RoyceEdward (Ed) Randall RoyceK Street giants scoop up coveted ex-lawmakers Former GOP chairman Royce joins lobbying shop Lawmakers propose banning shark fin trade MORE (R-Calif.). He will face off against Republican Young Kim in November. 

The race to replace Royce is tight, with The Cook Political Report rating it as a “toss up,” but Democrats are hopeful of their chances to flip the seat after Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump complains of 'fake polls' after surveys show him trailing multiple Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton responds to Trump tweets telling Dem lawmakers to 'go back' to their countries The Young Turks' Cenk Uygur: Here's how to choose a president MORE won the district by 8.6 points in 2016. 

It is unclear what impact the allegations will have on the race. Kim and Cisneros prevailed in California's "jungle" primary in June, finishing first and second, respectively.