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Lieutenant governor’s race heats up: Ainsworth attacks, Cavanaugh responds

As the primary election season draws to a close, the tone of many campaigns are shifting towards aggressive attacks against opponents. The lieutenant governor’s race is no exception.

State Rep. and GOP lieutenant gubernatorial candidate Will Ainsworth was the first to take a shot at his opponent Twinkle Cavanaugh, who currently heads the Public Service Commission, through an attack ad aimed at her time at the PSC.

In the ad, Cavanaugh is labeled a “career politician,” “bureaucrat,” and “special interest lobbyist.” The ad also goes on to say that Cavanaugh supported the “largest tax increase in Alabama history.”

While the ad entitled “shooting straight” is the first paid aggressive attack by Ainsworth’s campaign, it’s not the first time the race turned combative.

Ainsworth has not been silent on his dislike for Cavanaugh through media interviews, and the candidate did not speak highly of the PSC president in a sit down with APR‘s Josh Moon two weeks ago.

Cavanaugh hit back at Ainsworth’s ad through her campaign on Tuesday with an attack of her own. In a statement from the campaign, Cavanaugh accused Ainsworth of not supporting Donald Trump during his run for president.

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The candidate then linked to an article published by the Alabama Political Reporter two years ago during the heat of the Presidential election.

“Donald Trump is a con artist, not a conservative,” Ainsworth said, according to the article. “His ridiculous act has gone far enough and we have to put a stop to it now. Republicans across Alabama need to unify behind Marco Rubio since he has proven that he is the one conservative that can defeat the Democrats and preserve the party of Reagan moving forward.”

She called on Ainsworth to apologize to Trump later in the statement.

Ainsworth and Cavanaugh are currently seeking the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor along with state Sen. Rusty Glover. The winner will go to face Democrat Will Boyd in November.

The position has remained vacant since Gov. Kay Ivey left the position to become governor after former Gov. Robert Bentley’s resignation in April 2017. During the 2018 Legislative Session, a bill attempted to take power away from the position, but it ultimately failed on the Senate floor.

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