“Another rich guy with zero government experience spending his millions to buy this election,” a female narrator intones while viewers watch Blair’s face suddenly morph into that of the Republican president. The ad goes on to tout Berliner’s accomplishments.
Berliner, a three-term Democratic county council member representing District 1, faced some criticism for going negative in the run-up to the June 26 primary elections.
One of his longtime supporters, Cathy Bernard, said she had planned on voting for Berliner and gave him a $3,000 donation. But after she saw the ad, she asked for her donation to be returned.
Bernard, president of HCM Corp., a property management and investment firm in Chevy Chase, said the ad seemed like an attack on all businesspeople. She said she hadn’t been a Blair supporter but is considering voting for him or former Rockville mayor Rose Krasnow, the other candidate in the June 26 Democratic primary who is not currently in public office.
“I want my money back,” Bernard said. “I don’t want to be associated with stuff like that.”
Blair’s campaign responded to the ad by calling it a distraction, with Blair pledging to run a “clean and positive campaign.”
Berliner said Thursday that although he received more compliments than criticism about the ad, he directed his campaign to alter it, removing the portion where Blair turns into Trump.
“The comparison to Trump when it comes to zero experience and trying to buy the election is valid,” Berliner said. “The image was so intense it began to detract from our main charge — David Blair is unqualified to be county executive.”
The new version of the ad starts running Friday, he said. Early voting begins June 14.