Nick Rahall Attack Ad Airs In West Virginia House Race

10/04/2010 12:11 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

A new ad airing in West Virginia this week attacks veteran Democratic Representative Nick Rahall for his past support of President Barack Obama.

The ad, produced released by the West Virginia Conservative Foundation features Rahall speaking about his work in campaigning for Obama.

The ads flashes the phrases and "Nick Rahall - early supporter of Barack Obama" and "Campaigned with Barack Obama" for a few seconds each, before switching to "chaired Arab Americans for Obama," which remains on screen for nearly 10 seconds

Rahall, the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee who has represented West Virginia's 3rd Congressional District since 1977, is the grandson of Lebanese immigrants.

Rahall faces Republican Elliott "Spike" Maynard, a former Democrat, who served as chief justice of West Virginia's Supreme Court.

Maynard was defeated in the 2008 Democratic primary, finishing a distant third, when photos surfaced
of the justice on vacation on the French Riviera with Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship. Massey was appealing a $50 million verdict to his court at the time. Maynard switched his registration to the Republican Party in January.

This isn't the first ad in the West Virginia campaign that has included a not-so-subtle theme of race. A television spot released by the Maynard campaign this week accused the Congressman of using stimulus funds to send jobs to China. The ad, with its questionable choice of soundtrack, led to the Rahall campaign sending a cease-and-desist letter to West Virginia stations. The campaigns lawyers called the spot 'false and defamatory." The ads are still running on FOX 11 and WCHS-TV.

The WVCF website describes the group as "an independent organization to help promote conservative values and policies at the federal, state, and local levels."

An independent expenditure poll, released by the DCCC and conducted September 23-26, showed Rahall leading Maynard, 55 percent to 37 percent.