The Latino Victory Fund pulled the plug Tuesday on a controversial ad depicting a supporter of Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie as a Confederate flag-toting racist chasing minority children in a truck, hours after an attack involving a truck in New York City killed at least eight people.
The group cited "recent events" as its reasoning behind the move, but added that it is committed to running other ads against Gillespie.
“We knew our ad would ruffle feathers. We held a mirror up to the Republican Party and they don’t like what they see,” Cristobal Alex, president of the Latino Victory Fund, said in a statement. “Given recent events, we will be placing other powerful ads into rotation that highlight the reasons we need to elect progressive leaders in Virginia.”
The ad depicts a pick-up truck with a Confederate flag attached on the back, along with a Gillespie campaign sticker and a “Don’t Tread On Me” license plate. The truck proceeds to follow a minority children through a neighborhood.
"In a desperate attempt to become Virginia’s next governor, Ed Gillespie has eagerly embraced racism and xenophobia," the Latino Victory Fund tweeted Monday. "We refuse to stand by as Gillespie slanders our families and portrays our community as thugs, criminals, and gang members."
The Gillespie campaign is pushing back, saying the ad is “sickening.”
"This is not an attack on Ed Gillespie anymore," Gillespie campaign manager Chris Leavitt said, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. "This is an all out attack on the people of Virginia. This latest ad gives a clear indication of just what Ralph Northam and his national Democratic allies think of all of us, and it's sickening."
The Latino Victory Fund pulled the ad from YouTube and removed the tweet promoting the content after the attack in Manhattan Tuesday afternoon, which took the lives of at least eight and injuring more than a dozen more when a truck driver drove into a bike lane and eventually hit a school bus.