Leesburg, VA – A Virginia Democrat running for a U.S. congressional office used fake police who signed her poster in a show of support in a new advertisement that was recently released.
Jennifer Wexton is running in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District race against incumbent Republican Representative Barbara Comstock.
Wexton, an attorney, is one of six Democrats seeking her party’s nomination.
Her campaign admitted the police featured in the advertisement were not real, according to the Loudoun Times-Mirror.
The advertisement has three police officers that are dressed in what appears to be Halloween-type police costumes while they sign a poster.
“I have never seen uniforms in Virginia like that … at collective trainings or otherwise,” said Brian White, a former sheriff’s deputy in Portsmouth, Virginia, according to The Gateway Pundit. “Looks like Party City uniforms.”
The Gateway Pundit identified one of the officers in the advertisement as Matt Leslie, Wexton’s field director.
“Jennifer Wexton is finishing out her primary campaign the same way she started it: grasping for relevancy,” said Maddie Anderson of the National Republican Congressional Committee, according to the Loudoun Times-Mirror. “Unfortunately for her, the attention she’s gotten in the last few days is less than ideal for an establishment-picked candidate.”
Wexton Campaign Director Ray Rieling said fake police were used to avoid criticism for using working police officers in a campaign ad, according to the Loudoun Times-Mirror.
“Whether it’s as a prosecutor working with law enforcement or as a senator pushing for gun safety measures, Jennifer works closely with law enforcement to achieve greater public safety,” Rieling said, according to the Loudoun Times-Mirror. “We’ve seen campaigns get criticized for using police in uniform in ads, so we wanted to be respectful and avoid that issue.”
The Democrats altered the ad over the weekend and removed the word “cops.”
Republicans called the advertisement disrespectful to the police community.