Democratic congressional candidate Glenn Ivey is focusing on the emerging battle to fill Justice Antonin Scalia's seat on the Supreme Court in the first radio ad of his campaign for Maryland's 4th Congressional District, his campaign said Wednesday.
The advertisement, which campaign aides said will begin airing later week on African American radio stations, is among the first to invoke the debate between some congressional Republicans and President Barack Obama over whether the White House should nominate a replacement for Scalia, who died over the weekend.
"Republican attacks led by Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have reached a new low. Now they're telling President Obama that he can't even nominate a justice to the Supreme Court," Ivey, a former Prince George's County State's Attorney, says in the ad.
"They want a right wing Supreme Court to help them overturn Obamacare and eliminate affirmative action," Ivey ads.
Scalia's death opened a political rift after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that Obama should not nominate a replacement because it is an election year, and other Republicans have suggested Congress should stall a nominee until a new president is sworn in.
Obama has said he intends to name a nominee in coming weeks.
Ivey's ad plays directly into that debate in a part of the state where Obama remains widely popular. The president campaigned in Prince George's County during Maryland's 2014 gubernatorial election, even as other midterm candidates around the country were distancing themselves from the administration.
At the time, Obama was stumping for Anthony G. Brown, the former lieutenant governor in Maryland who lost to Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in the general election. Brown is now running against Ivey for the Democratic nomination in the 4th Congressional District, which includes portions of Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties.
The incumbent, Democratic Rep. Donna Edwards, is running for the Senate this year.
Other candidates in the 4th District include Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk, Warren Christopher and Terence Strait.