North Carolina Democrats want to capitalize on anger over the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation process and allegations he sexually assaulted Dr. Christine Blasey Ford when the two were high school students in the 1980s.
A set of ads posted on the state Democratic Party's Facebook page attacks six Republican lawmakers seeking reelection in state legislative districts believed to be up for grabs.
Each candidate appears in a doctored image shaking hands with the Supreme Court nominee. Senator Jeff Tarte of Mecklenburg County is one of them, he's also one of many GOP legislators who signed a letter urging support for Kavanaugh.
Tarte said in a telephone interview that such ads are to be expected in what he called "silly season." Tarte said Democrats desperately want to break the GOP veto-proof majority in the General Assembly.
"'Cause it does make a difference. You get marginalized to a larger degree when that exists. No question," Tarte said.
Tarte said if Kavanaugh were to be convicted of sexual assault, his position on the nominee certainly would change but for now his support remains intact. And Tarte dismissed as ridiculous any claim that he does not care about women.
Rep. Andy Dulin, also a Mecklenburg County Republican targeted in the attack ads, took a stance similar to Tarte. Dulin noted, too, that the letter he and other GOP legislators signed supporting Kavanaugh was issued a month ago before the claims against the nominee surfaced.
Both Dulin and Tarte said they were hard at work campaigning and talking to constituents. Neither had seen the Facebook ads.
A Democratic Party spokesman said the ads are aimed at unaffiliated female voters and those in swing districts and would remain posted on Facebook through the weekend. Party officials are looking at whether they should disseminate the ads more widely and over a longer period.