Controversial campaign ad: Andrew Thomas targets illegal immigra - Dallas News |

Controversial campaign ad: Andrew Thomas targets illegal immigration & the gay lobby

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - It's a campaign ad all over television Thursday, and it's already sparking controversy.

It's from Arizona Gubernatorial candidate Andrew Thomas, who some label a disgraced former county attorney.

Some people say the ad is blatantly racist, and it attacks the gay community.

Thomas is one of six candidates running for the Republican nomination. His campaign is spending tens of thousands of dollars to make his bid for Governor standout.

In his first TV ad, Thomas promises to "standup" to illegal immigration and the gay lobby.

"Conservatives are backing Andrew Thomas for Governor because he's the only candidate to stop illegal immigration. He stood up to the gay lobby and opposes liberal judges," said the ad.

It's a 30 second campaign ad bringing a whole lot of heat to the race for Arizona Governor.

"When I enforced the law, illegal immigrants fled, now they stay and protest," he said in the ad.

On social media, people call the ad racist and bigoted.

We showed Thomas's fellow Arizona Governor candidates the ad for the first time.

"To say I'm going to draw a big Mexican flag, and I'm going to say all Mexicans are bad, or all of Mexico is bad, is something that is a bad omission, and something I would never want the Governor of Arizona to say," said Christine Jones.

"This hypes up kind of politics isn't helpful to solve the problems that we face," said Fred Duval.

To Thomas's claim that he stood up to the "gay lobby" in his ad, that part left the candidates ranging from offended to puzzled.

"I'm not quite sure how the gay lobby gets into the whole immigration focus of this ad in the first place," said Ken Bennett.

"He also said he stood up to the gay lobby; some people call the wording offensive, I have no idea what he's talking about, I don't know why he thinks that it's an issue in the race, it certainly hasn't come up when I've traveled around, I've never heard those words before," said Jones.

And on the day the ad hit local TV, Andrew Thomas isn't saying much. FOX 10 called him, e-mailed him, even went to his house. He only issued a statement; "I am pleased to report my campaign has received a very strong, positive response to my new campaign ad. Voters can see I am the one true conservative running for Governor, someone who will stand up and fight for them."

Thomas served as Maricopa County Attorney from 2005-2010 before being disbarred in 2012. The Republican primary for Governor is August 26th.
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