Over the weekend, GOP congressional candidate Mark Sanford gave voters his personal cell phone number and asked them to call him in a full-page ad in a South Carolina newspaper.
Democrats have been obliging his request en masse over the past few days, Columbia Patch reported on Thursday. Not all of the calls have been hostile, Sanford told Patch, saying some people were willing to engage in honest policy discussions.
A Democratic super PAC also included the number in a recent fundraising email, encouraging donors to call the former governor with questions about his previous spending on "luxury travel."
The email came from House Majority PAC, a group supported by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that has waged an ad war against Sanford.
Sanford has worked hard to shift the focus of his campaign away from Democratic challenger Elizabeth Colbert Busch to Pelosi, who a recent poll showed is an unpopular national political figure. The AP reports that Sanford has attempted to use the flood of calls in his ongoing campaign to make Pelosi a key figure in the race.
Andy Stone, the communications director of House Majority PAC, said the decision was simple for the group. "He took out a full page ad in the newspaper and published his phone number for anyone to call him. And that's what we did," he told Patch.
Stone also rejected Sanford's suggestion that the attack was somehow coordinated by Pelosi herself, according to the Associated Press.
On Wednesday, Sanford debated a cardboard cutout of Pelosi, saying that it stood as a stand-in for Colbert Busch, whom he accused of "avoiding public appearances."
UPDATE: 4:15 p.m. -- In a release addressing the House Majority PAC fundraising email, Sanford's campaign included a screenshot of his phone's call log including a list of phone numbers that had attempted to contact Sanford. Most of them appeared to be missed calls.