A convicted killer shouted out a mocking endorsement in court on Wednesday for the Nebraska Republican featuring him in a congressional campaign ad, KMTV-TV reported.
“Vote Lee Terry guys, greatest Republican ever,” 26-year-old Nikko Jenkins said after a competency hearing. “Vote for Lee Terry. He’s a great guy.”
Jenkins has been the centerpiece of an ad released by the National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC) earlier this month linking him to Terry’s opponent, state Sen. Brad Ashford (D).
The commercial blasts Ashford for supporting the “Good Time Law,” which allowed Jenkins to serve half of a 21-year prison sentence for robbery and assault charges. Less than a month after being released, however, Jenkins killed four people last summer. Democrats have called the commercial a “repellent, race-baiting ad” and called for it to be taken off the air, but Terry’s campaign has refused.
Terry’s campaign manager, Kent Grisham, distanced himself from the commercial in a statement to KMTV.
“We’re not going to comment on the ranting of a serial killer who never should have gotten out of prison in the first place,” Grisham said. “This man does not deserve one more second of publicity, which is why we refused to use his name or face in any of the ads our campaign produced.”
According to Roll Call, Terry trails Ashford by 5 percentage points, with Ashford amassing 46 percent of support of 2nd Congressional district voters compared to Terry’s 41 percent. Libertarian candidate Steven Laird has the support of 6 percent of voters, while another 7 percent remained undecided.