WASHINGTON -- Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) released a new television ad on Friday starring his wife, Angela, who paints her husband as a family man and says his critics have played too dirty.
"I'm Angela West. I do my best to ignore political mudslinging. But recent attacks on my husband go too far. They have been called false and racist, and that's not a word I use lightly," says Angela, shown seated in what appears to be a residence.
Slightly ominous music plays in the background until about halfway through the ad, at which point the music picks up and the congressman is shown walking with his two daughters on a dock.
"Here's the truth about Allen," continues Angela's voice. "He's an amazing dad and a hero to our daughters. He's dedicated his life to serving our country. And Allen is driven by one thing: protecting the American Dream for everybody."
In a press release issued by West's campaign, West's teenaged daughter Aubrey also responds to her father's critics.
"The recent attacks on my parents' character are downright wrong and false. This election should be focused on policies, not personal attacks on a family that sacrificed so much for their country. My father has been serving the people of the United States for 22 years. During that time I have had to watch my father leave to go fight wars to protect this country and the people who are spreading false and hurtful things about my parents," Aubrey says in a statement.
West's latest ad is a sharp departure from his last ad, which torched his Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy over a college arrest for disorderly intoxication and featured his mug shot. Murphy fired back with an equally damning ad that goes after West's illegal actions in the military.
The race for Florida's 18th District continues to be one of the closest -- and most intensely watched -- races in the country.