Democrats go after Tom Cotton

Democrats are launching a preemptive strike in Arkansas with an ad campaign against freshman Rep. Tom Cotton, a rising star and potential candidate against vulnerable Sen. Mark Pryor (D).

The ad from Patriot Majority USA And Senate Majority PAC, "Glitz," accuses Cotton of caring more about national fame than his constituents.

"Tom Cotton, just elected and already seeking the national spotlight. Behind the spotlight, Tom Cotton forgot about us."  the narrator says. The ad goes on to attack Cotton for supporting Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget.

The ads will run across the state for the next two weeks.

Meanwhile, the Senate Conservatives Fund, a PAC originally founded by Jim DeMint, is out with a new poll finding Pryor and Cotton tied at 41 percent and 40 percent, respectively. Along with the anti-tax Club for Growth, the Fund is looking for a Pryor challenger and (while not committing to a candidate) would like to see Cotton run.

A Harvard-educated lawyer who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, Cotton is facing pressure from fellow Republicans to get in the race. Pryor, up for reelection in a state Mitt Romney won by a margin of 23 percent, is already taking heat both from Republican groups and gun-control activists who oppose his vote against expanding background checks.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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Rachel Weiner · June 27, 2013