A radio ad geared toward Nevada's Latino voters calls Republican Sen. Dean Heller "another Sharron Angle," comparing his hard-line immigration stance to that of the former Tea Party candidate. Paid for by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the ad criticizes Heller for opposing the DREAM Act.
"A Republican that wants to get to the Senate on an anti-Latina platform -- does that sound familiar?" says the narrator. "In the Republican Dean Heller we have another Sharron Angle."
Both Democrats and Republicans are courting Latino voters, who make up a crucial voting block in the state. In the 2010 midterm elections, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid defeated Angle after winning 90 percent of the Latino vote.
"Angle was heavily criticized during that campaign for what were seen as race-baiting tactics, including commercials that linked Reid to illegal immigration and included a series of images of menacing-looking Hispanics sneaking through a chain-link fence," the Las Vegas Sun reported Wednesday.
Roughly 26 percent of Nevada is Latino, according to the U.S. Census.
Heller, a freshman incumbent, was appointed to the seat after former Sen. John Ensign resigned amid a sex scandal and ethics investigation. He faces a re-election challenge from Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley, who is backed by Reid.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee also had radio ads out aimed at Latinos, going after Berkley on religious freedom.
The Heller campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
UPDATE: The Heller campaign provided the following response to The Huffington Post:
The seven-term congresswoman has failed the Latino community on the most critical issue of our time -- jobs and the health of our economy. She's proposed new energy taxes that would devastate families and voted for trillions in bailouts and failed stimulus programs that have left Nevadans with nothing. Her latest attack is her shameless attempt at distracting Nevadans from her failures.
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