Jackie Cilley, New Hampshire Governor Candidate, Releases Tax Pledge Zombie Ad

Democratic candidate for New Hampshire's governo former State Senator Jackie Cilley speaks during a debate at New England Col
Democratic candidate for New Hampshire's governo former State Senator Jackie Cilley speaks during a debate at New England College Thursday, May 31, 2012 in Henniker, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

A Democratic candidate for governor of New Hampshire released a new commercial Friday describing candidates who commit to the state's famous "anti-tax pledge" as zombies.

Former state Sen. Jackie Cilley, who is facing off in a three-way Sept. 11 primary, released the new commercial and a website to highlight her decision not to rule out an income or sales tax if elected.

Her main primary opponent, former state Senate Majority Leader Maggie Hassan, has taken the pledge, as have both Republicans and outgoing Gov. John Lynch (D). Afghanistan War veteran Bill Kennedy, a longshot candidate for the Democratic nomination, has called for a 4 percent income tax in the famously tax-resistant state.

The ad features a parade of zombies marching while holding a "tax pledge" in their hands, as Cilley describes any politician who takes the pledge as "a zombie to the pledge." Cilley then closes the door on her house, with the zombies outside her window and describes her reasons for not taking the pledge.

"Let's get serious at what's at stake," Cilley says in the ad. "If we are going to attract good jobs, New Hampshire is going to have to have good schools, good roads and good bridges. That means having a grown up conversation and you can't do that when you are a zombie to the pledge."

On the "Pledge Zombies" website, Cilley says that her commercial is having "fun," but stresses her desire to discuss the tax issue in a "serious" tone. She says that as governor she would be "independent" and "not blindly beholden to the no-tax pledge."

Cilley and Hassan are locked in a competitive battle for the Democratic nomination -- the two are the only Democratic women seeking a governorship this year.

The primary victor will face the winner of a Republican primary battle between former state Board of Education Chairman Ovide Lamontagne and former state Rep. Kevin Smith, who have both taken the pledge. America's two current Democratic female governors, Washington's Christine Gregoire and North Carolina's Bev Perdue, are not seeking reelection.

Hassan, who is endorsed by former President Bill Clinton, has said she is opposed to taxes in the state.

"We have an economy structured around not having a sales or income tax, and we should be focused on growing that economy," Hassan said during a June debate, the Concord Monitor reported.

Cilley's commercial and website have come out during the same week that New Jersey state Sen. Joe Kyrillos, the Republican nominee against U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D), said he would consider raising taxes on the wealthy if elected to the U.S. Senate.



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