Senate Democrat Says A Vote for the Other Guy Is A Vote for Ebola

Sen. Mark Pryor brings the Ebola outbreak to Arkansas by criticizing his opponent for voting against funding for pandemic responses.

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Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) is warning voters they could get Ebola if they vote for his opponent, Rep. Tom Cotton (R).

Well, not exactly.

But the vulnerable Arkansas Democrat put the outbreak of the deadly disease front and center in his campaign Tuesday, releasing a scathing ad that criticizes Cotton for voting against funding for pandemic response.

"Tom Cotton voted against preparing America for pandemics like Ebola," a deep-voiced narrator intones in the 30-second spot, which was first reported Tuesday by The Washington Post.

Another voice follows:

Rep. Tom Cotton/AP

Congressman Cotton voted to cuts billions from our nation's medical disaster and emergency programs.

He was the only Arkansas congressman to vote this way.

Just like he was the only one to vote against Children's Hospital."

The ad refers to a vote in January 2013, when the newly-elected Cotton was one of 29 House members to vote against a reauthorization of public health programs.

The Pryor-Cotton race is one of the most closely-watched Senate battles in the country, as Democrats try to hold onto a rare Senate seat in a deep-red state. Pryor is running for his third-term, while Cotton, serving his first term in the House, is a 37-year-old Iraq War veteran and Harvard graduate.

Cotton is holding on to a slim lead in the polls, according to the RealClearPolitics average.

UPDATE: The Cotton campaign responded with a statement from spokesman David Ray:

Senator Pryor’s desperation is comical. In Senator Pryor’s world, he doesn’t have to take responsibility for rubber-stamping the Obama agenda over 90% of the time, but wants Arkansans to believe Tom Cotton is responsible for everything from Ebola to crabgrass and male-pattern baldness."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.